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The Self as Constellation (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry) Paperback – April 1, 2002
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"The Self as Constellation forges a complex story from moments often bluntly, simply, straightforwardly caught." -- ForeWord
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Wow. This stands with Deborah Digges' Vesper Sparrows as the best collection of poetry I have read so far this year. While it is inconsistent, especially in the earlier poems in the book, it rises to some pretty amazing heights. Hathaway, ex-nun, teacher, and mother, draws on the disparate experiences of her life to come with pointed, compact parables that often do the reader minor mischiefs while affording pleasures in here twists of diction:
One April day the mad priest
approached a bakery truck and prayed
the words of consecration. The driver,
a parishioner, called the bishop to buy
every biscuit, loaf, and bun; the whole
cargo the Body of Christ.
If that priest is still loose
changing substantially everything
he knows he knows how,
what if no one overhears? Kids will
eat those sweetrolls and stop
the breakfast fight; a man slipping
the sandwich from his sack will find
his union dues; the student
over midnight toast sees life and major
work; imagine the flap and chatter aloft,
full of breadcrumbs, the birds.
These kinds of pleasures are liberally sprinkled throughout this volume. Well, what are you waiting for? Go get one! ****