Overlordby Jorie Graham
What does it mean to be fully present in a human life? How in the face of the carnage of war, the no longer merely threatened destruction of the natural world, the faceless threat of spiritual oversimplification and reactive fear does one retain one's capacity to be both present and responsive? And to what extent does our capacity to be present, to be
What does it mean to be fully present in a human life? How in the face of the carnage of war, the no longer merely threatened destruction of the natural world, the faceless threat of spiritual oversimplification and reactive fear does one retain one's capacity to be both present and responsive? And to what extent does our capacity to be present, to be fully ourselves, depend on our relationship to an other and our understanding of and engagement with otherness itself? With what forces does the sheer act of apprehending make us complicit? What powers lord over us and what do we, as a species, and as souls, lord over?
These are among the questions Jorie Graham, in her most personal and urgent collection to date, undertakes to explore, often from a vantage point geographically, as well as historically, other. Many of the poems take place along the coastline known as Omaha Beach in Normandy, and move between visions of that beach during the Allied invasion of Europe (whose code name was Operation Overlord) and that landscape of beaches, fields, and hedgerows as it is known to the speaker today. In every sense the work meditates on our new world, ghosted by, and threatened by, competing descriptions of the past, the future, and what it means to be, as individuals, and as a people, "free."
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.55(d)
Read an Excerpt
The screen is full of voices, all of them holding their tongues.
Certain things have to be "undergone," yes.
To come to a greater state of consciousness, yes.
Let the face show itself through the screen.
Let the organizing eyes show themselves.
Let them float to the surface of this shine and glow there.
The world now being killed by its children. Also its guests.
An oracle? -- a sniper, a child beater, a dying parent in the house,
a soil so overfed, it cannot hold a root system in place?
Look -- the slightest wind undoes the young crop.
Are we "beyond salvation?" Will you not speak?
Such a large absence -- shall it not compel the largest presence?
Can we not break the wall?
And can it please not be a mirror lord?
Poems. Copyright © by Jorie Graham. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Jorie Graham is the author of 12 collections, including The Dream of the Unified Field which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard University.
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