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The Wave-Makerby Elizabeth Spires
Synopses & Reviews
In Elizabeth Spires's sixth collection of poetry, the pilgrim soul, in its various guises, meditates on its own slow becoming, finding humble companions in creatures as unlikely as a lowly snail, a prehistoric coelacanth, or a tiny Japanese netsuke of a badger disguised as a monk. For Spires, life is both a pilgrimage and a deepening--birth, death, and transformation all part of a seamless continuum. Possessed of a calm, crystalline sense of eternity, her poems invite fellow travelers to sit for a little while and be cleansed of the dust of existence.
"Quietly serious, trustworthy and often sad, this sixth collection from Spires (Worldling) finds the poet preoccupied with first and last things: death, illness, age and debility take up much of the book, while ascetic religion, in the lives of monks and nuns, occupies more hopeful poems near the volume's end. Though only 58 years old, Spires looks back on her life as if from near its conclusion: 'Like an idiot child, I piled my pretty stones,/ knowing the waves would knock them down.' One of her best new poems considers the video game 'The Sims,' where 'Adults never get older & old people can do/ anything young people can do.' Again and again Spires depicts the flimsiness of all human life-defining 'house,' for example, as 'a leaf over my head.' Some will object, understandably, that Spires' new poems lack intellectual rigor-but they might well make up for that lack in their moving frailty, even giving us (as Spires sometimes implies) models for the later chapters in our own lives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A stunning new collection from a poet who 'made her name a watchword for serenity and poise' (Contemporary Poetry Review).
A contemplative, witty new collection from a "jewel of a poet" (Los Angeles Times).
About the Author
Elizabeth Spires is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Now the Green Blade Rises and The Wave-Maker. She lives with her husband and daughter in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches at Goucher College.
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