"Here we have metamorphosis, resonance, transfromation, the alchemy of art. Bachmann is able by a few simple direct gestures . . . to connect her personal grief and tragedy to the whole tradition of English (and Western) verse and to the poetic impulse itself to make beauty out of sorrow."
“A thorough and vivid emotional narrative, taking the reader to an unsettling depth of personal tragedy at breakneck speed.”
“In her lush economies, psychic darkness, and imperative forthrightness, Bachmann is clearly an heir of Louise Glück and there’s a trace of Whitman here, too . . . The grief in ‘Temper’ is raw, relentless, and unadorned; in the crucible of Bachmann’s sensibility, this sorry becomes gracious force.”
—On the Seawall
“An often haunting image of time juttering forward and back ceaselessly, lives never completely explained or tragedy never finally understood.”
“Nothing short of a stunning debut. Rarely have I felt so compelled by a collection, so utterly incapable of turning away. “
“Bachmann is able—by a few simple, direct gestures toward pastoral elegy, invoking nymphs and shepherds by rejecting them—to connect her personal grief and tragedy to the whole tradition of English (and Western) verse and to the poetic impulse itself to make beauty out of sorrow.”