In accelerated silence Poems

Brooke Matson

Book - 2020

""The thin knife that severed your tumor," writes Brooke Matson in these poems, "it cleaves me still." What to do when a world is split-terribly, wholly-by grief? When the loss of the beloved undermines the most stable foundations, the most sacred spaces, of that world? What else but to interrogate the very fundamental principles themselves, all the knowns previously relied on: light, religion, physical matter, time? Often borrowing voices and perspectives from its scien...tific subjects, In Accelerated Silence investigates the multidimensional nature of grief and its blurring of boundaries-between what is present and what is absent, between what is real and imagined, between the promises of science and the mysteries of human knowing, and between the pain that never ends and the world that refuses to. The grieving and the seeking go on, Matson suggests, but there comes a day when we emerge, "now strong enough / to venture out of doors, thin // and swathed in a robe," only to find it has continued "full and flourishing and larger than before." Sensual and devastating, In Accelerated Silence-selected by Mark Doty as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize-creates an unforgettable portrait of loss full of urgency and heartache and philosophical daring"--

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Subjects
Published
Minneapolis, Minnesota : Milkweed Editions 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
77 pages ; 22 cm
Awards
Jake Adam York Prize.
ISBN
9781571315151
1571315152
Main Author
Brooke Matson (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Winner of the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize, Matson's collection is particularly well-made, which is to say individual poems often astonish, but the arrangement of and interconnections among them make the whole vastly more than the sum of its parts. And there are a lot of moving parts to reconcile and blend, including astrophysics, the biblical Eden, and death by cancer of a beloved. In language that ranges from the sweet and susurrant to the whine of a surgical saw, Matson ties the enormity of space to the specific and personal. So skillful is she, the reader doesn't feel the dizzying change in scale, only the speaker's wonderment, rage, or ache of memory. "Centrifugal Force," for example, encapsulates the galaxy in the stretch of tossed pizza dough, "a Dali clock / falling and rising" as the speaker wonders how thin it can get before it breaks. Matson is a generous poet as well as a virtuosic one, and her invitations to bay at the moon alongside her should be accepted with enthusiasm. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Winner of the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize, Matson's collection is particularly well-made, which is to say individual poems often astonish, but the arrangement of and interconnections among them make the whole vastly more than the sum of its parts. And there are a lot of moving parts to reconcile and blend, including astrophysics, the biblical Eden, and death by cancer of a beloved. In language that ranges from the sweet and susurrant to the whine of a surgical saw, Matson ties the enormity of space to the specific and personal. So skillful is she, the reader doesn't feel the dizzying change in scale, only the speaker's wonderment, rage, or ache of memory. "Centrifugal Force," for example, encapsulates the galaxy in the stretch of tossed pizza dough, "a Dali clock / falling and rising" as the speaker wonders how thin it can get before it breaks. Matson is a generous poet as well as a virtuosic one, and her invitations to bay at the moon alongside her should be accepted with enthusiasm. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Facing the loss of a loved one, many people rail against the heavens. But in her debut collection, Matson chooses to investigate them instead, like Eve with a pomegranate, "smashing a chest of rubies,/ …split[ting] the vermilion world in a violent need to know." Yet she also cries, "tow the borders/ of this universe far beyond// our grasp" because the very idea that tragedies have explanations is repugnant. Knowing that all her touchstones are gone, Matson struggles with grief ("I force my heft against an unseen fence/ every morning") and eventually is able to face the glorious "thumbprint" of the sun. Both anguished and unblinking, these poems deliver an understanding of being divided—tumor from body, self from beloved, and self from self after the fusion of passion burning hot as a megastar's core. VERDICT Accomplished poetry that will move those who have sorrowed—that is, everyone. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

""The thin knife that severed your tumor," writes Brooke Matson in these poems, "it cleaves me still." What to do when a world is split-terribly, wholly-by grief? When the loss of the beloved undermines the most stable foundations, the most sacred spaces, of that world? What else but to interrogate the very fundamental principles themselves, all the knowns previously relied on: light, religion, physical matter, time? Often borrowing voices and perspectives from its scientific subjects, In Accelerated Silence investigates the multidimensional nature of grief and its blurring of boundaries-between what is present and what is absent, between what is real and imagined, between the promises of science and the mysteries of human knowing, and between the pain that never ends and the world that refuses to. The grieving and the seeking go on, Matson suggests, but there comes a day when we emerge, "now strong enough / to venture out of doors, thin // and swathed in a robe," only to find it has continued "full and flourishing and larger than before." Sensual and devastating, In Accelerated Silence-selected by Mark Doty as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize-creates an unforgettable portrait of loss full of urgency and heartache and philosophical daring"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Finalist for the 2021 Housatonic Book Award in Poetry“The thin knife that severed your tumor,” writes Brooke Matson in these poems, “it cleaves me still.” What to do when a world is split—terribly, wholly—by grief? When the loss of the beloved undermines the most stable foundations, the most sacred spaces, of that world? What else but to interrogate the very fundamental principles themselves, all the knowns previously relied on: light, religion, physical matter, time?Often borrowing voices and perspectives from its scientific subjects, In Accelerated Silence investigates the multidimensional nature of grief and its blurring of boundaries—between what is present and what is absent, between what is real and imagined, between the promises of science and the mysteries of human knowing, and between the pain that never ends and the world that refuses to. The grieving and the seeking go on, Matson suggests, but there comes a day when we emerge, “now strong enough / to venture out of doors, thin // and swathed in a robe,” only to find it has continued “full and flourishing and larger than before.”Sensual and devastating, In Accelerated Silence—selected by Mark Doty as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize—creates an unforgettable portrait of loss full of urgency and heartache and philosophical daring.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“Both carefully observed and daringly philosophical . . . The cosmos aches, as it did for Orpheus and for Gilgamesh, and as it did for Eve.” —MARK DOTY