"You must change your life, / say the rabbis of old" begins a poem from Iron into Flower, Yvette Neisser's second collection. Like those rabbis, Neisser's deceptively simple poems pose age-old questions about memory, identity, love, faith, and morality. And when calamity strikes-a death, an auto accident, a divorce-the poems' speaker, also named "Yvette Neisser," does indeed change her life, reclaiming her body, her identity, even her name. Timeless rituals-the sun's arc, the passing of the seasons, the quiet pleasures of making tea and flipping tortillas-help reassure even the most troubled souls who haunt these poems. Neisser writes, "Bless us all, the whole imperfect lot of us." And she means it: these are poems of healing and grace.
-Katherine E. Young, author of Woman Drinking Absinthe, Poet Laureate Emerita, Arlington, VA
Iron into Flower doesn't pull any punches as we readers are drawn into a landscape of loss: Auschwitz, Gaza, the body, first loves, and even depression's loss of color, as 'orange and red cascade/ and crumble into brown,/ then earth,/ then bareness.' In these moving and rhythmic texts where Neisser's children's faces are 'all that matter,' the poet finds beauty and strength in her yearning to 'learn the shape of faith.'
-Nancy Naomi Carlson, Author of An Infusion of Violets
I relished this dual-journey of a book, where mother traverses the Deep South in the mid-sixties on her way to Mexico. But also landscapes of memory-a hike with father, where "the years have etched rings around my life"-in poem after poem the arresting passage of time; or a kind of lifespan within a single poem, from "the pull of oars up the quiet river...to "the closing of eyelids." But we also encounter work that doesn't flinch in the face of harrowing histories-pieces that "shine a mirror inside [our]selves / examine [our] flaws." In short, the stuff of art-this gorgeous arc that doesn't shy from "digging deep."
-Francisco Aragón, author of After Rubén, Director of Letras Latinas
|Publisher:||Finishing Line Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)|