Hilda Raz has long been a significant voice for American poetry. She writes of widows dancing and of squirrels fat in late September, of the power of a woman’s voice, solitary, “blessed to be the womb put to use or not.” Raz brings to her poetry and all the things it may encompass an authority wrought of compassion, of awareness and hard-won wisdom. She writes, “I bent over the mess, began to gather it up” and this is an apt description for how a life might be crafted into poetry. She knows where poetry comes from, as Yeats did in his “foul rag and bone shop,” that “I’m not afraid anymore. / How heavy you were on my body. / How burnt I was from exposure.” The reader will remember the triumphs and heartbreaks, where “I lean on rituals of the house. / Is it possible to live forever in silence?” and where a mother, dreaming,
. . . sits in the rocking chair. From the shut closet, a cry.
In the closet, wrapped in a snowsuit, under the zipper, one of the twins
she gave birth to, this child in her arms. One twin died, she remembers,
but this one is alive and mewing, a swollen belly, a perfect little head, a face.
She’d forgotten him.
No. I can fix everything.
About the Author
Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press