- Capa comum: 96 páginas
- Editora: Able Muse Press (1 de dezembro de 2014)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 1927409349
- ISBN-13: 978-1927409343
- Dimensões do produto: 15,2 x 0,6 x 22,9 cm
- Peso de envio: 90,7 g
- Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
Cup - Poems (Inglês) Capa Comum – 1 dez 2014
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At dark, the large group gathered in my cabin,
sipping brandy from unmatched coffee cups.
After a while, we began to sing:
songs from different decades, our various childhoods
--Broadway show tunes, Beach Boys, all-girl groups--
loudly, foolishly laughing, for dear life.
This poem alone is reason enough to buy Cup, Merrin’s third and most accomplished collection. The book brims with treasures. As in her earlier books, Shift and Bat Ode, Merrin brings her intellectual and emotional generosity and her wit to bear on an unpredictable range of topics. Here often she turns her attention to the business of aging in contemporary Western society. In “New Year,” Merrin offers up a song of praise:
...to the man or woman who stays open
to the river of each day. Praise
to her or him who keeps, past sixty
and in all weathers, an open heart.
The poems in Cup are clearly the result of the poet’s own unflinching openness, whether it be towards the hand-me-down humiliations parents inflict upon their children in “Surfing the Pororoca,” and the poet’s own shortcomings in “A Woman under the Influence” and “The Resistant Reader in the Age of Memoir,” or the “automatic/ unconvincing noises/about what may be gained” through the undeniable losses of senescence in “Old Movies.”
Images of physical balance recur throughout the book, from the surfers who ride a churning twelve-foot Brazilian tidal bore in the book’s remarkable opening poem, to the “burdened camels” in “Lands You’ll Never See,” creatures “...so balanced over the sand/ their two-toed hooves leave no prints where they pass.” So, too, does the theme of maintaining one’s existential equilibrium in the midsts of devastating change.
Cup is divided into five sections. The second and most personal of these is a sequence of poems about the poet’s adult daughter’s cancer. Here with characteristic passion and restraint, Merrin confronts the most calamitous event in a parent’s life: “...that wild, unmitigated/ sense of something wrong--which is how this feels:// to hear in your child’s voice a terrible,/ gentled acceptance of what must be borne.”
While Merrin’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live on the pages as uniquely themselves, the poet never loses sight of the universality and timelessness of their experience. She finds commonality with the unexpected figure of a legendary Sumerian mother who expressed her anguish more than four thousand years ago:
Ninsun, mother of the hero
beseeches the sun-god that Gilgamesh might go
unharmed on his journey to murder
that he be watched over by the stars.
Despite the extremity of her distress. Merrin has no use for sentimentally. She writes:
...As it turns
out Shamash is only one of several
gods in this story: all take bribes and quarrel.
Who, anymore, in need calls out to them?
Her ancient wish and my wish are the same.
A different sort of love poem, one which will doubtlessly be widely anthologized, is “Desert Sunset Pavane.” The verse ends with the heartbreakingly tender and beautiful image of the poet and her beloved:
Like children learning ballroom dancing
--careful of their posture,
remembering to smile,
proceeding with light gravity--
we step into old age.
It is precisely this seemingly oxymoronic quality of “light gravity” that makes so many poems in this volume unmistakably, unforgettably the work of Jeredith Merrin. Don’t miss it.
This is a book that accepts the poet's historic challenge, to capture in the smallest possible space the largest possible sense of human existence. That challenge is all the tougher today, now the heady excitement of modernism is history, and the formal certainties that preceded it are pre-history, and we are left with an infinite smorgasbord of aesthetic possibilities in which every choice evokes a pang of familiarity.
Jeredith Merrin escapes the dilemma by discarding the slightest hint of poetic pretension, while at the same time deftly exercising her craft. What wins through is a candid and compassionate record of everyday experience, layered by time and enriched by wisdom. This is a writer who refuses to avoid the pain of existence, but also refuses to roll in it. Aging is a theme that perfectly suits her mode, no better than in the lovely Desert Sunset Pavane: "Like children learning ballroom dancing / — careful of their posture, / remembering to smile, / proceeding with light gravity — / we step into old age."
What keeps this work close to the edge of suffering, but not mired in it, is a light blush of humor — neither raucous nor cynical, but rather a gentle wryness that comes from bravely seeing what is. There's a wonderfully evocative account of a canceled trip to Brazil (Lands You’ll Never See): a poignant and funny emblem of all our unlivable dreams.
The cup of the title is apt both in its ordinariness and its archetypal power. This book is a small container holding a vast amount of life.