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Sea Change: Poemsby Jorie Graham
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times has said that "Jorie Graham's poetry is among the most sensuously embodied and imaginative writing we have," and this new collection is a reminder of how startling, original, and deeply relevant her poetry is. In Sea Change, Graham brings us to the once-unimaginable threshold at which civilization as we know it becomes unsustainable. How might the human spirit persist, caught between its abiding love of beauty, its acknowledgment of continuing injury and damage done, and the realization that the existence of a "future" itself may no longer be assured?
There is no better writer to confront such crucial matters than Jorie Graham. In addition to her recognized achievements as a poet of philosophical, aesthetic, and moral concerns, Graham has also been acknowledged as "our most formidable nature poet" (Publishers Weekly). As gorgeous and formally inventive as anything she has written, Sea Change is an essential work speaking out for our planet and the world we have known.
"Graham's 11th collection contains what might be her most urgent and impassioned writing to date. These 19 poems continue Overlord's (2005) meditation on current political and social crises, but the relative composure and straightforwardness of that volume has given way to panic, breathlessness, vertigo and fracture: 'life disturbing life, & it/ fussing all over us, like a confinement gone/ insane, blurring the feeling of/ the state of / being.' Humankind's degradation of the environment and itself during wartime are Graham's primary concerns, with the title referring specifically to the way in which an apparently small shift — an undercurrent's 'warming by 1 degree' — will bring forth ruin: 'the in - / dispensable / plankton is forced north now, & yet further north,/ spawning too late for the cod larvae hatch, such/ that the hatch will not survive, nor the/ species in the end.' Here, the interconnectedness of all life isn't just a spiritual commonplace, it is grounds for a call to action, and one that Graham — a poet of rare responsiveness to the natural world and a thinker of great ethical responsibility — is uniquely qualified to make. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Jorie Graham is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the Pulitzer Prize. She divides her time between western France and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches at Harvard University.
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