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In Rain Psalm, Victoria Ford contrasts human appreciation with violence, in both city and wilderness. Her poetry's descriptive and formal precision compels admiration.
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Victoria Ford's Rain Psalm is a promising collection of poems, containing some very strong writing about the seemingly paradoxical themes of nature and urban life. In "Whales and the Ice," she explores the fragility of what may seem invincible, while celebrating the human capacity for growth and change as humans save whales instead of hunting them, cutting ice holes so the whales can breathe, reaching out "to touch a weathered head/as though it were a rose." Especially pay attention to the potent, heartbreaking urban drama Blood Brothers.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Whales and the Ice
Into the air, three heads
rise like a sigh,
gray and barnacled
and bloody, trading
skin with the ice
and testing dreams.
They nose from hole
to breathing hole, following
the incisions of men, who rest
their chain saws and reach out
with fur-covered hands
to touch a weathered head
as though it were a rose.
A whale dies in the first freeze
as easily as a flower.
A hundred years ago
we killed enough
of the California grays
to put them out of bloom; now
with these two before us
full of oil and meat,
we grasp mittens and hope
instead of harpoons, and
somewhere in the depths
of light and hunger, we breathe
more than assume
as it bubbles to the surface,
irises into the air.
Striking my chest, a woman's scream
whips through the dark; I sit up without breath,
clench the covers. The echo beats
in the dark as she cries with my voice, draws me
in a noose.
Cotton drapes between fear
and my face: a gun, a knife somewhere,
a bloody mask. Her scream slices through and
I find the telephone, whisper to the police,
wait for shouts, the snap of handcuffs.
An empty street, silence spreads under the window.
I sit like a fist in the dark.
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Book Description Rose Alley Pr, 1996. Condition: Good. First Edition. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP69057064
Book Description Rose Alley Press, U.S.A., 1996. S Paperback. Condition: Fine. F First Edition. U.S.A.: Rose Alley Press. 1996. F First Edition. S Paperback. Fine. Fine -- 'as new'. Seller Inventory # 00522952
Book Description Rose Alley Pr. Condition: Like New. Pamphlet. First edition copy. Like new; no internal markings. No pricing stickers. No remainder mark. Poetry 032810. Stored in sealed plastic protection. In the event of a problem we guarantee full refund. 1996 Pamphlet. Seller Inventory # 330826
Book Description Rose Alley Pr, 1996. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0965121003