by Heather Christle
I’ve written about a book of poetry only once before: Mary Oliver’s Dream Work. This is because I don’t read books of poetry often, and because it seems harder to write about poetry. I will concede it might get less difficult if worked at reading more poetry, writing about poetry more often, and letting go of any worries about whether or not I sound like I know what I’m doing.
Which means I probably shouldn’t admit I was drawn to this bright yellow book because of the one-eared bunny on the cover. In my defense, not only did I not put the book down when I realized it was poetry, I even recognized and was happy to see James Tate blurbing it. (I like his short stories.) Flipping through the pages, I came to this:
I must convince you that while
it’s true I have the face of a human,
this does not make me a centaur,
manticore, or great Icelandic king.
I’m sure you’re full of questions,
such as Have you heard we are
surrounded by daffodils of normal
proportions? And all I can tell you
is that yes, we are surrounded,
by daffodils, perhaps, but even
more so we are swimming in an air
that’s been touched here and there
with the kind of dust that, once
lit up, won’t let the swimmers go
So I decided I needed to take the book home.
I liked the book. I can’t really explain the poems, yet I know I’ll read them all again.