“Like the sports photographer in her poem of that name, Elaine Terranova 'has a feel for finishes,' for the beautiful crafting of language that makes even the darkest things shine, and for slowing 'the speed at the end of the race / so that the runners appear to bloom / into a wide, deserved sleep.' In the tranced quiet of these haunting poems can be heard the 'cricket pulse' of time's anchorites, 'our backs to the outside,' as the literal opens like a wound to the magic lantern of the interior. This is intimate, sensitive, and brave poetry, tracing the damages with a care whose exactitude honors what suffers within.” (Eleanor Wilner)
From the Back Cover
Melville's most singular character, his scrivener Bartleby, says to the world, "I prefer not to," and with those four words awakens everyone, and anyone, to the possibility of choosing a life. Over many decades now, Elaine Terranova's poems as well have opened the possibilities of perceiving, choosing, and concluding so consistently, and with a subtlety and economy so much her own, that they are truly beyond compare. There is a dark energy to her art, a force of negation and silence that is carried along at once consciously and unconsciously. She is always listening and becoming. To follow the path from her early work to her most recent collection is to discover the deepening powers of this poet of the real beyond the material, of acceptance beyond resignation, and of elegy beyond mourning.