Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry
* An NPR, Slate, Oregonian, Kansas City Star, Willamette Week, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
• Amazon's Best Book of the Year in Poetry 2013 *
In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color. One poem is presented as a diagrammed sentence. Another is an abecedarium made of lines of dialogue spoken by girls overheard while assembling a puzzle. Several poems arrive as a series of Annunciations, while others purport to give an update on Mary, who must finish the dishes before she will open herself to God. One poem appears on the page as spokes radiating from a wheel, or as a sunburst, or as the cycle around which all times and all tenses are alive in this moment. Szybist's formal innovations are matched by her musical lines, by her poetry's insistence on singing as a lure toward the unknowable. Inside these poems is a deep yearningfor love, motherhood, the will to see things as they are and to speak. Beautiful and inventive, Incarnadine is the new collection by one of America's most ambitious poets.
|Product dimensions:||7.40(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)|
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Mary Szybist has elegance in her writing not often captured, and Incarnadine is no different. Even if her carefully placed words did not have meaning, I would be content to listen over and over again to their sound, rhythm and motion. Listening would be enough, for the effect is calming and peace. It is pleasure. However, perhaps even better, her words do have meaning attached to their luscious sounds, and that meaning is thoughtful. One of the poems in this collection that stood out to me is called “Update on Mary.” This poem holds a type of vulnerability not commonly found in writing. It lays before us private thoughts of the author that are so human and so truthful. One cannot help but connect to Szybist through her poetry. I was so moved by this poem that I wrote my own imitation of it to see how it felt to experience that same vulnerability. It was harder than I expected to release my secret thoughts, and not only did it make me appreciate “Update on Mary” even more, but writing my own was certainly therapeutic. This collection also has a special theme to it that may not be immediately apparent in every poem, but certainly binds the pieces together. This theme is about the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, when Gabriel came to tell her she would carry the Son of God. Such a religious theme brings to these poems an awareness of the divine. She tells the annunciation scene from several perspectives and gives a pondering look on who the mother of Jesus was, but also a pondering look at us and our relation to the divine. Read this book, and I think without even trying you will be touched.