Light Falls Through You: Poetry


Sensuously attentive to the world, intensely imagined, and musically driven, Light Falls Through You is a book that remembers the victims – of war, of atrocity, of casual violence – and calls upon language to render homage. Whether she is bringing poetry elegiacally to the service of an individual, to the masses of Rwandan dead or the casualties of the Montreal massacre, Anne Simpson writes with meditative insight balanced by imaginative reach and an intense musicality. In “Usual Devices” she gives an account of the Trojan War in a sequence about punctuation marks, deftly and wittily revealing the entrenchment of epic violence in the ordinary traffic signs of syntax. And the book’s closing poem weaves an altarpiece appropriate to our time out of everyday elements, a homemade icon whose yearning toward coherence, toward closure and hope, is a brave, articulate music for the century’s end. From that place “where we came into it/with our disbelief,” Simpson’s poems point to the imaginative place where “we remember the miraculous.”

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