Book Of Hours
"A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief. In the night I brush / my teeth with a razor, he tells us, in one of the collection s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement ( Not the storm / but the calm / that slays me ), Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son- in Crowning, he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing her face / full of fire, then groaning your face / out like a flower, blood-bloom,/ crocused into air. Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking What good/are wishes if they aren t / used up? while understanding How to listen / to what s gone. Young s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life s mysteries."
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