Moon Crossing Bridge: Poetry

Moon Crossing Bridge: Poetry

by Gallagher
     
 

Moon Crossing Bridge

Tess Gallagher

Tess Gallagher, one of America's most accomplished poets, presents her sixth book, a descent into the world of the dead, a remembrance of her recently deceased beloved, whose presence and absence are recalled in sombre lyrical rhythms and with a extraordinary range of expressions of love and sadness.

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Overview

Moon Crossing Bridge

Tess Gallagher

Tess Gallagher, one of America's most accomplished poets, presents her sixth book, a descent into the world of the dead, a remembrance of her recently deceased beloved, whose presence and absence are recalled in sombre lyrical rhythms and with a extraordinary range of expressions of love and sadness.

Devoid of self-pity or illusion, yet full of dream and vision and wisdom, these beautifully intense and powerful poems bestow the gift of words to the widow's silence, to the silence of all who are muted by grief and loss. With this unusual volume, arranged in six carefully paced movements to suggest the journey from death to recovery, Gallagher charges language with its utmost responsibilities: here poetry aspires deeply and urgently beyond its cultural marginality to embrace the paradox of sharing unshareable pain and to assume again an Orphic voice and a communal necessity.

"Tess Gallagher's is perhaps the most deeply moving and spiritual and intensely intelligent poetry being written in America today. In Moon Crossing Bridge, during a period of devastating loss, as she learns 'to sleep again on earth,' she is at the peak of her considerable powers. This is a wild and beautiful collection that I will keep close to me."

—William Heyen

"These poems are a gift of a poet's heart and soul to her readers— songs of love and loss, of pain and recovery: a touching, at times haunting, reminder of what it means to walk through this life wide-eyed and head-up, no matter the obstacles and impasses. A brave, unsparing, searchingly considered lesson for and statement to those of us lucky enough to meet the author through this book."

—Robert Coles

"What to say about this new book is a difficulty. Are we blessed in the fact that the death of her lover, friend, and husband happened to Tess Gallagher just at the height of her mastery? An atrocious idea! Yet it will occur to every reader, I'm sure, because the degree of originality in these poems— written, after all, in the most conventional of poetic circumstances— makes them absolutely extraordinary. I mean originality of language and image, of imagination. Poems like "Black Pudding," "Magenta Valentine," "Deaf Poem," "Spacious Encounter," and many others are unforgettable— death poems full of vigor; horror, love, grief, and spiritual wonder in a single vision. They compel our minds and hearts completely."

—Hayden Carruth

Tess Gallagher's previous publications include Amplitude: New and Selected Poems, A Concert of Tenses (essays on poetry), and The Lover of Horses and Other Stories. She lives in Port Angeles, Washington, where she has recently completed the introduction to No Heroics, Please, the first of two volumes of The Uncollected Works of Raymond Carver.

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Editorial Reviews

William Heyen
Tess Gallagher's is perhaps the most deeply moving and spiritual and intensely intelligent poetry being written in America today. In Moon Crossing Bridge, during a period of devastating loss, as she learns 'to sleep again on earth,' she is at the peak of her considerable powers. This is a wild and beautiful collection that I will keep close to me.
Robert Coles
These poems are a gift of a poet's heart and soul to her readers— songs of love and loss, of pain and recovery: a touching, at times haunting, reminder of what it means to walk through this life wide-eyed and head-up, no matter the obstacles and impasses. A brave, unsparing, searchingly considered lesson for and statement to those of us lucky enough to meet the author through this book.
Hayden Carruth
What to say about this new book is a difficulty. Are we blessed in the fact that the death of her lover, friend, and husband happened to Tess Gallagher just at the height of her mastery? An atrocious idea! Yet it will occur to every reader, I'm sure, because the degree of originality in these poems— written, after all, in the most conventional of poetic circumstances— makes them absolutely extraordinary. I mean originality of language and image, of imagination. Poems like "Black Pudding," "Magenta Valentine," "Deaf Poem," "Spacious Encounter," and many others are unforgettable— death poems full of vigor; horror, love, grief, and spiritual wonder in a single vision. They compel our minds and hearts completely.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gallagher's ( Amplitude ) new collection is dedicated to her husband, Raymond Carver, who died of cancer in 1988. One cannot help being moved by the emotion that grounds the work, even if the poems sometimes affect us more because of what lies behind them than because of what shows through. Some focus on ordinary objects now invested both with the warmth of remembrance and the agony of grief (``Some gifts are sent / only to haunt''), while others recall moments of leave-taking, such as Carver planting a tree, knowing `` `Even this thing is going to outlive /me.' '' The poem ``Wake'' (``We were dead / a little while together then, serene / and afloat on the strange broad canopy / of the abandoned world'') is one of the most visceral. However, slackness is evident in ``Sad Moments'' (``we are fit for modulation and /whim, for cloves and lace, or / that dim creaturely train rushing past us'') and bathos in ``He Would Have'' (``Any unexpected bounty adds him like seasoning / to the day''). Still, Gallagher's best poems powerfully evoke the ambiguous life of the survivor, who can say, ``My love's early death has scraped away my future,'' yet go on charting a life that has become a ``chaotic laboratory of broken approaches.'' Author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The poems in this collection, Gallagher's fifth, arise from the grief she experienced after the death of her husband, poet and short story writer Raymond Carver, when ``morning and the night uncoupled.'' These poems struggle to re-create the mourner's passage through grief, a passage accomplished by ``pulling bright, tenacious filaments out of the absent body of the love itself.'' Some of this poetry is difficult: even when her verse begins from or turns on a homely object or occasion, Gallagher stretches language--both image and structure--as if in her effort to wrest understanding from great loss, even ordinary things lead her to confront the unfathomable mysteries of love and death, endurance and despair, lover and beloved. Despite the difficulty, this is a luminous and important book that well repays careful attention. Recommended.-- Margaret K. Powell, Yale Univ. Lib.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555971564
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
02/01/1992
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,061,622
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 9.76(h) x 0.63(d)
Lexile:
1210L (what's this?)

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