Parables of Passages (Paperback)

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In her sixth book, Parables of Passages, Carol Altieri continues her moving and vivid exploration of love, loss, and the solace of the natural world. Beginning with a richly detailed series of poems about her New Hampshire childhood, she writes of the spill of scents, sounds, and colors that left her with memories "sharp as a blade / on my father's whetstone," where her father's astronomy lessons taught her to follow the stars whenever she got "lost in the woods," and where at ten she got "on speaking terms" with a family of sparrows, the source of her lifelong "love for all meanings / and seasons of nature under heaven." Of this enduring love, she writes later, "how tiny my home / against the depth and breadth of / of this heavenly scale." Illuminating the deep sense of loss in her later poems, this intimate connection to the natural world serves both as solace and reminder of what has been taken by death: "alone now" on the beach, she watches a heron "ride the airwaves trailing its slender black legs" and remembers "the many times / we explored ocean bays and salt marshes"; in her garden, she "hears the serenading sounds of / night come alive" and is "blindfolded" by loss, must find some "way of holding on"; and, as she is "revisiting the embroidered ground" of that same garden "where he labored a few months ago," she finds herself "slipping on moss-covered rocks, falling over her]self" / into the wild grapevines." But this is also a woman who goes dancing to heal her pain, who "pirouettes, wildly improvising, / pulsating upper body, moving to the beat." In the end, this strength, this delight in every aspect of life, this determination to go on, all serve as bedrock for this honest, powerful, and courageous look at the ways in which loss and beauty, despair and hope, are inextricably intertwined. After all, this is a world where, sitting in her garden, she observes: "Bejeweled dragonflies skim over the pond. / All living metaphors proclaim the divine." And this is "A splendid viewing place to await the next life."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781597131681
ISBN-10: 1597131687
Publisher: Goose River Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 124
Language: English