Badgers at dusk, the dark bird of a dream or an omen, white-robed nuns—in this, the follow-up to her Walt Whitman Award-winning collection The Cult of the Right Hand, Elaine Terranova paints a world in chiaroscuro. Hers is a vision that moves from the shadows of everyday life to its brighter sparks of meaning. The central characters are ourselves and our alter egos, one whole and flowering in the world, the other damaged. Whether in narrative or in lyric revelation, the poet assumes many voices, each telling of human longing and how it is answered. Damaged are the abused children fleeing with their mother in “Rush Hour,” the disfigured young woman of “The Line,” the woman awaiting diagnosis of the lump in her breast. These cautionary tales reveal a courage of spirit that outshines our vulnerability and even the limits of love to protect us.
“Here is a volume of mature imagery to outlast the normal shelf life, a work whose music stirs us with each rereading.” —Portlandia Review of Books
“Ever aware of the variety of human experience—and able to capture it in vividly rendered poems that show a fine ear for language at its most musical—Terranova has been building a reputation in the literary world.” —Library Journal