'Today the war dead failed to make the headlines / to keep myself human I construct a shrine of words.' These taut, truth-telling poems teach us how to 'heft . . . more weight than we can carry,' how to speak the unspeakable, 'the grief that scours the heart.' In their concision, the eloquence of their exactitude, they say only what is needful. Silence is their punctuation. And how restorative their respect, how beautiful is the gift of mourning. --Eleanor Wilner, author of The Girl With Bees in Her Hair
If our dreams could edit the news (and sometimes our nightmares) these poems are how they d wake us up to the urgency of our times, to the damage violence does to everyone including those of us who observe from afar. The music played here is dark, but it is indeed sweet. It is what we need to hear. In Sharkey's art solace and truth form a new alliance, and mourning becomes a gift. --Betsy Sholl, author of Late Psalm
In the disfigured landscape born of division and dislocation, Sharkey honors the accountability of language by turning her ear to the rhythms of the soul s survival. Filled with an abundance of compassion and moral intelligence, her poems struggle against the brutal policies that arbitrarily shatter the lives of ordinary citizens. In a world in which suffering seems ineradicable, the poet finds a music and poetic diction that not only capture the anguish of the displaced and dispossessed but also bless their enduring spirits. These poems of active empathy remind us that in times of conflict hope and faith are always at stake. --Francine Sterle, author of Nude in Winter
About the Author
Lee Sharkey is the author of To A Vanished World, a poem sequence in response to Roman Vishniac's photographs of Eastern European Jewry in the years just preceding the Nazi Holocaust. Her poems and translations from the Russian have appeared in Cream City Review, The Fiddlehead, Green Mountains Review, Margie, Nimrod, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, and other literary journals.