Synopses & Reviews
Using long-lined, imaginative leaps to connect the everyday with the miraculous, the intimate with the visionary, Barbara Ras's poems surge across the page like waves crashing on a beach. She crafts the forty-one new poems in this collection with a zany and spacious cunning that reaches from family to community, from what's cherished to what's lost, from culture to nature.
"Beginning with a full moon and ending with 'the petals/ of where we belong,' this second collection takes on the clichs and mysteries of daily life moving, loss, dogs, happiness in hopes of finding what underlies them. Ras, whose debut, Bite Every Sorrow (1998), won the Whitman and Kate Tufts Discovery Awards, is unafraid of big subjects and big feelings, approaching them mostly in a ragged, long-lined free verse that gathers steam as it moves down the page. Many of the small pleasures of these poems speed by like scenery in a train window. A speaker finds a seashell 'the size of a large speck' and wonders about its ocean sound 'and what kind of ear it would take to hear it.' But the 'small beauties' have little chance against larger historical forces, like a U.S. military campaign called 'Operation Menu'; two cloud-gazing friends come across 'the kind of billowings that could only be called atomic.' Politics and the pain of familial relationships are often fused, as when a mother's thoughts about her daughter are juxtaposed with a front-page photo of a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Chechnya. While unlikely to turn many heads, this is an entertaining and at times very moving sophomore effort, which pays attention to life's small pleasures and subtle difficulties." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Barbara Ras's poems are informed by a metaphysically erudite and whimsical exuberance. (C.K. Williams)
Using long-lined, imaginative leaps to connect the everyday with the miraculous, the intimate with the visionary, Barbara Rass poems surge across the page like waves crashing on a beach. She crafts the forty-one new poems in this collection with a zany and spacious cunning that reaches from family to community, from whats cherished to whats lost, from culture to nature.
About the Author
Barbara Ras’s first book of poems, Bite Every Sorrow, won the Walt Whitman Award in 1997 and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is currently the director of the Trinity University Press in San Antonio.