'Late September': Now, from the sweet fragrance of roses, bitterness stings our nostrils. The bay's withdrawn from us, the beach is littered with broken things - splintered oars, bits of old clay pipe from a long ago shipwreck, fragments of china plates. Enchanting, those days my townspeople scavenged rare cargo, furnishing their long winters with random wares. Now, the wind from two directions turns soft dubious summer to a hard estate. Now, when we know death is near, we walk with more courage, but slowly, alongside cavorting dogs. And soon he and I will wade together into the cold homecoming wave. A new inclusiveness, a heady freedom, grounded in the facts of mortality, inform Gail Mazur's recent poems, as if making them has served as both a bunker and a promontory, a way to survive, and to be exposed to, the profound underlying subject of this book: a husband's approaching death. The intimate particulars of a shared life are seen from a great height - and then there's the underlife of the bunker: endurance, holding on, life as uncompromising reality.
This new work, possessed by the unique devil-may-care intensity of someone writing at the end of her nerves, makes "Figures in a Landscape" feel radiant, visionary, and exhilarating, rather than elegiac. Mazur's masterly fusion of abstraction with the facts of a life creates a coming to terms with what Yeats called 'the aboriginal ice.'
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 79
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 10 mm