The Parts of Light: Poems


'Just like the professional trainer's competent mastery over the horse, Hearne exhibits a...striking expertise with poetic language--where the energy of one so appropriately becomes a metaphor for the other.' --'Black Warrior Review'
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'Just like the professional trainer's competent mastery over the horse, Hearne exhibits a...striking expertise with poetic language--where the energy of one so appropriately becomes a metaphor for the other.' --'Black Warrior Review'
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her third volume of poetry, Hearne (Nervous Horses), a writer and animal trainer, strives to capture exactly what she knows she can't-the intense immediacy of animal consciousness, a consciousness free of the moral vagaries and intellectual preoccupations that pockmark human experience. Well aware of the contradictory nuances of human thought, she wrestles with these, and with the abilities and disabilities of language. Grammar and syntax are challenged, and challenge us. Her style, smooth in some places, choppy in others, reflects both the wholeness of animal presence and the jarring, fragmentary nature of human reason and reflection. Hearne's poems demand participation, refuse passive enjoyment; she dares the reader to stay in the saddle. She acknowledges the vitality and pure spirituality of our animal companions (a subject eloquently broached by Whitman, Rilke and others before her); she's also prepared to submit joyfully to them. She recognizes that an animal's union of body and spirit, and radical unself-consciousness, represent a quiet, humble superiority over humankind. (Oct.)
Library Journal
These 66 conversational, learned poems cleverly anatomize the aesthetics of "the parts" of light. Fire, flame, moonlit snow, and starlight reveal the truths that are found by contradiction, the difficulties the mind ("an apparatus") has in comprehending "miracles of landscape," the relationships of the eye to what it sees, and the problem of knowing "like that when for brief moments/At a time we see forever." Intoxicated by Hearne's philosophical perfume, the reader's mind is left delightfully stirred as after drinking absinthe. This collection is never at a loss for a dazzling byway of thought. With the "supple elegance" of a trained equestrian and genuine empathy for all animals, Hearne offers cryptic insights that often lead to "iridescent edges/Of what the world knows." If these edges sometimes vanish "like smoke," the dogs and horses she describes with sophisticated splendor still become living things in the mind. Not for everyone but enjoyable for larger collections.-Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801849398
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Series: Poetry and Fiction Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Between Fences 3
Balance at the Halt 4
The Parts of Light 6
To the Circus 7
We Find a Grace, as Awkward as Sure 8
Remembering a Shattered Glass Horse 11
Huck Finn, Credulous at the Circus 12
The Secret Is Safe in Jerusalem 13
When Words Fail Us 15
Riding Skills 16
A Point of Technique 17
The Work to Be Done 18
The Runner and the Mountain 19
What Transpires 20
Ion, Released from the Vows of Love, Replies to Socrates 21
Holocaust Poem 22
Twice Conscious 23
Before a Large Painting 24
By Hand 25
Touch of Class or View from within any Imperial Riding Academy 26
Instructions from a Trainer for Building a Charm for the Recovery of Health 27
Serendipity 28
Perfection of the Paces 29
The Horse Sculpted 30
If I Could Speak to Chief Joseph about Appaloosas 32
Some General Principles of the Art of Riding 34
The Problem of the Dancing Horse 38
The Leisure of God 39
Self Deception 40
Woods and Snowfall 41
Southland Home, Literal Months 42
Often They Do 43
Girl on a Lawn 44
Grasshoppers 45
On the Grounds of the Statewide Air Pollution Research Center 46
The Dog and the Word 47
Danes and Wolfhounds 48
Birdy Questions 49
A Breed Standard for the Border Collie 50
The New Hound Puppy 52
The Young Airedale 53
Reasons Not to Own a Wolf-Dog 54
The Figure I 56
All of My Beautiful Dogs Are Dying 57
A Mosaic 58
Natural and Intent 60
Sole Lord 61
Second Person Singular 62
Comparative Enormity 63
Creatures in Rooms for Thought 64
The Problem of Dwelling 65
Fireplaces and Sailboats 68
St. Luke Painting the Virgin 70
Distracted in a Classroom 73
Before the War 75
Listening Post 78
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