Annie Finch Calendars

ISBN 13: 9781932195002

Calendars

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Annie Finch's wide reputation precedes her. Her first full book of poems attracted the notice and glowing approval of Robert Pinsky, Carolyn Kizer, the Bloomsbury Review and the Washington Times. Her poems are resonating, musical celebrations of life. Through mastery of rhythm and poetic patterning, this wonderfully gifted poet liberates and illuminates the sacred in the mundane, and gives voice to the earth-centered spirituality of our era.

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About the Author:

Annie Finch is a poet, translator, and librettist, ""a central figure in contemporary American poetics"" (The Dictionary of Literary Biography). Her recent works include a book of poetry, Eve (Story Line, 1997); the groundbreaking anthology, An Exaltation of Forms (Michigan, 2002); a translation of The Complete Poetry and Prose of Louise Labé (University of Chicago Press, 2006); and a libretto for a new opera based on the life of poet Marina Tsvetaeva (American Opera Productions, 2003)). She is Director of the Stonecoast low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

Review:

In her third full-length collection, Finch focuses on the cyclical and seasonal, centering on themes of birth, death, family and artistic lineage, sexuality and female spirituality. Following the poems of Eve (1997), the poetics of The Ghost of Meter, and the anthologizing of An Exaltation of Forms (2002) among other books and translation work, Finch here moves through traditional and invented forms, chants and refrains, makes addresses to poets of the past, and at times deploys an exaggerated musicality that is less archaic than rooted in obsessive repetition. In ""Paravaledellentine: A Paradelle,"" for instance, the speaker sings, ""Move me the way the seas' warm sea will spend me./ Move me the way the seas' warm sea will; spend me./ Move your sea-warm come to me; will with me; spend/ tender sounds, warning me the way of the seas, the seas."" Some of the most compelling poems here explore the interplay of multiple voices; in the title poem, the voices of Demeter, Chorus, Persephone and Hades chant in alternation. Other successful poems move between a voice and an echo--a doubt, a qualification or a redirected train of thought. While poems centered on (and titled after) ""The Earth Goddess and Sky God"" or ""The Menstrual Hut"" can seem more a part of a personal cosmology than a space readers will want to approach, Finch almost always draws one in with an unnerving and utterly unexpected phrase or image, as when addressing ""The Moon"": ""Then you are the dense everywhere that moves,/ the dark matter they haven't yet walked through?"" Such moments seem to contain the full duration of this book's calendars.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --Publishers Weekly

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