Dialogues with rising tides

Kelli Russell Agodon

Book - 2021

"A collection of poems by Kelli Russell Agodon"--

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Subjects
Genres
Poetry
Published
Port Townsend, Washington : Copper Canyon Press [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
xv, 89 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781556596155
1556596154
Main Author
Kelli Russell Agodon (author)
  • Cross Rip
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Review by Booklist Reviews

Seattle-area poet Agodon's finely crafted poems gleam like prisms, so clear is her language. In the heartbreakingly beautiful I Don't Own Anxiety, But I Borrow It Regularly, she writes "Sometimes I wonder if there's one moment / when no one is dying, where we all exist / on this planet without loss. Although loss is, after all, our central human truth, Agodon's poems attempt a dialogue with providence, a certain bargain with the gravity of our passions so that we can live. In the hilarious Near-Death Experience, an angel tells us, "I was wrong about desire—that Earth, while messy, / had the best sex and wi-fi", / . . .I left heaven with an unmade bed and enough / light to fill a stairway." Reading Agodon's poetry is finding oneself in a bustling village of joys. The everyday grace with which we attempt to live while tumbling through our days finds expression in this sinewy collection which seems to catch us before we fall, assuring us that it's going to be okay. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Seattle-area poet Agodon's finely crafted poems gleam like prisms, so clear is her language. In the heartbreakingly beautiful I Don't Own Anxiety, But I Borrow It Regularly, she writes "Sometimes I wonder if there's one moment / when no one is dying, where we all exist / on this planet without loss. Although loss is, after all, our central human truth, Agodon's poems attempt a dialogue with providence, a certain bargain with the gravity of our passions so that we can live. In the hilarious Near-Death Experience, an angel tells us, "I was wrong about desire—that Earth, while messy, / had the best sex and wi-fi", / . . .I left heaven with an unmade bed and enough / light to fill a stairway." Reading Agodon's poetry is finding oneself in a bustling village of joys. The everyday grace with which we attempt to live while tumbling through our days finds expression in this sinewy collection which seems to catch us before we fall, assuring us that it's going to be okay. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Few poets document our world with as much beauty and grace as Agodon (Hourglass Museum). In seven sections, Agodon's new collection examines such issues through the lens of a speaker who often feels broken herself, approaching her subject tangentially. Only a few poems focus directly on the climate change hinted at in the title, though it's a theme returned to often. Most poems center on a wife/mother making her way through a fractured life as she experiences many unexpected deaths, with two children gone young, one from choking on a balloon: "A degree in suicide? we swallowed it, / reloaded, / a master's degree in dying." Agodon has mastered the art of making each poem new through unexpected turns. Throughout, her love of life, in all its beauty and contradictions, offers a counterpoint to the massive challenges that lie ahead. "Till Death Shatters the Fabulous Stars" offers what could be the book's premise: "I'm devoted / to the broken / clamshells / climate / cockleshells." Agodon shows us why we must create a better world: "every day is also a miracle." VERDICT These stunning poems question what we as individuals can do to repair or at least survive our battered world. Highly recommended.—Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In her piercing fourth collection, Agodon (Hourglass Museum) explores intertwined anxieties—a family history of mental illness, looming environmental collapse, the inadequacies of love—with care and understated humor. In "Unsustainable," she addresses a lover with foreboding and whimsy: "I want to keep you in my plastic/ Happy Meal heart, but what snaps open// stays on Earth forever, my center floating/ down a canal until it's swallowed by a seal." She vacillates between exploring family trauma and moments of genuine joy: "how once/ in Mexico, after I lost my wedding ring,/ I did a body shot off a woman/ I didn't know and how sticky she was/ and how the tequila made the night a little quieter/ and the stars made the beach feel like a church." Agodon has a talent for arresting titles. In "Magpies Recognize Themselves in the Mirror," bystanders at a mall watch with understanding as a woman experiences a mental health crisis: "And like that/ we were her flock in our black coats/ and white sweaters, some of us reaching our/ wings to her and some of us flying away." Despite the tragedies at the center of this book, Agodon captures the universality of dark emotions and offers a collection full of hope. (Apr.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A collection of poems by Kelli Russell Agodon"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In Kelli Russell Agodon’s fourth collection, each poem facilitates a humane and honest conversation with the forces that threaten to take us under. The anxieties and heartbreaks of life—including environmental collapse, cruel politics, and the persistent specter of suicide—are met with emotional vulnerability and darkly sparkling humor. Dialogues with Rising Tides does not answer, This or that? It passionately exclaims, And also! Even in the midst of great difficulty, radiant wonders are illuminated at every turn.