Love's Answer

Michael Heffernan, Author University of Iowa Press $14 (96p) ISBN 978-0-87745-451-9
The blues of the sky provide the mood, and more than a handful of birds--magpies, curlews, hummingbirds, jackdaws--are sent into the open spaces that Heffernan, a tranquil, philosophical poet who sees the universe with the help of ``the inmost eye in the middle of me,'' stirs up in this, his fourth collection, winner of the 1993 Iowa Poetry Award. Showing a spare, musical touch combined with a masterful sense of color, the most captivating poems explore the nature of things, the unchartered places where objects intersect or connect, especially where the human gives way to the divine, as in ``A Sign from Heaven,'' where a man takes an early afternoon ride into the brilliant light of day. Returning home, he ponders the sunlight shining on the beach stones on his windowsill, which are suddenly transformed by ``Creation's primal flame / in the micromoment of transparent fire.'' Irish echoes lead us back to Heffernan's past, as do myths and dream visions, poems calling on Aquinas and Proust, and portraits of women. The collection achieves a satisfying variousness, and thus a few less exhilarating poems can be overlooked as we celebrate the certain care this poet takes. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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