Matter of Fact

Eamon Grennan, Author . Graywolf $15 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55597-500-5

“[T]he neon dawn-screech/ of skunk cabbage” or the sun's “calligraphy of angle-spines/ and snag arms”: the facts here are filtered through the senses of someone word-drunk who's raised himself on Hopkins and Celan, Stevens and Shakespeare, as well as his immediate Irish forbearer, Seamus Heaney. The matter is the world—flowers, airplanes, traffic, birds, violence, language—and the sound and sense Grennan (The Quick of It ) can make of it in this his seventh collection: “I find myself sounding such things out/ by skin-instinct or some sort of soul-braille,” trying to swim across “the tidal turbulence of the senses.” Whether in neat stanzas or bits of prose, Grennan's lines and sentences are thick with sound, but his syntax often pushes the reader rapidly. Central to the book's final section is a brief suite of poems that artfully walks a perimeter around 9/11: a speaker safely riding a plane, flashes of smoke and names, the struggle to imagine “That we might go on,” and snow finding “the only ground left to stand on.” Later, a thrush becomes a symbol for living through trouble, its “songs raised over wreckage when the dust has settled.” (June)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.