All We Saw - Anne Michaels

Staff Pick

A note at the end of Michaels’s spare and beautiful collection lists seven people the poet lost between 2013 and 2017, as if she felt she had to prove how she became one of “those who have earned the right to speak in absolutes.” For Michaels, love is the chief absolute and it outweighs loss, just as a rower “hewing the abyss,” feels “the entire weight of the sea/pulled by a narrow blade.” While speaking itself defies death by putting love into words, Michaels most effectively and passionately counters loss’s absolute with love’s particulars. These poems roam memory, stopping at moments that crystallize entire relationships. Whether listening to “the endless ballad/of waves against the embankment” or watching stones in a misty field “come alive” as bison, Michaels keeps turning that “single stitch” of a hyphen between dates into “the dash at the end of a phrase, meaning/not yet, meaning /to/continue.”

All We Saw: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451493095
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 3rd, 2017

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