In her wry and riveting new collection, Marianne Boruch discovers things often taken for granted and holds them up to deceptively casual light, questioning them both mercilessly and mercifully. Employing a masterly range of tone and form, Boruch makes a sometimes strange but always revealing investigation of world and self, history and memory, resistance and release. Here a woman levitates behind a door as her daughter badly bangs out Mozart. Here God is caught before the moment of creation, before knowledge, before “the invention/ of the question too, the way all/ at heart are rhetorical, each leaf/ suddenly wedded to its shade.” It’s here raucous boys on their bikes are told—through telepathy—don’t go to this war. Here, that a Dutch still life is returned to the small chaos of its making. And Eve, in “stained fascination,” stares down the snake of the lost garden. The lyric impulse in these deeply interior poems stops time, even as the world, indifferent to its mystery, keeps happening.
Praise for Marianne Boruch:
“Her poems are complex rather than simple rooms … they bring the world’s strangeness, and their own, home to whatever reader is open to old mysteries, both in dreams and in the waking life they illuminate.”—Philip Booth, The Georgia Review
“Marianne Boruch’s (work) has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention: She sees and considers with intensity. Her poems often give fresh examples of how rare and thrilling it can be to notice.”—Robert Pinsky, Book World, The Washington Post
“Every detail of image and syntax shines with multiplicity.”—Donald Revell, The Ohio Review