Copper Canyon. May 2023. 128p. ISBN 9781556596681. pap. $18. POETRY
In her third collection (following the award-winning Indictus), poet/journalist Eilbert offers an exquisite study bringing themes of nature and climate change to the forefront while also focusing on mental health, grief, trauma, and love. Throughout, she brilliantly tackles today’s crises, which she often presents hauntingly, aware that not everyone feels the same sense of urgency: “When I tell academics/ we’ve entered a threshold without/ bugs, they laugh and say I should/ come to the South and say that. It’s like the/ senator who brought a snowball to Congress;/ together we walk into private conveniences.” Yet even as she writes persuasively of these issues, signaling a greater need for their presence in the worldview, she makes space for the personal and leaves readers transfixed by her use of language: “I hold/ asanas to release my hamstrings, an area, I’m told, where we store/ our grief. Where in our body is not grief? Time tires us out. This/ is why we invented it, so we might form from ends.”
VERDICT A fine exploration of nature and self in crisis; those familiar with Eilbert’s work will not be disappointed, while new readers will be eager to explore her further.
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