Tethered to Stars

Fady Joudah. Milkweed, $16 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-57131-534-2
“My mourning/ is an animal and my animal a constellation,” writes Joudah (Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance) in his meditative fifth collection. Through his ever-exact images, Joudah lays bare the sadness that plagues and binds the earth—a tree is cut from the ground, lightning strikes a highway, an old neighbor finds herself living alone. This is a treatise on cosmic unity that does not shy away from grief, but that yearns for the immense, abstract sense of possibility, believing that “a heart remains a heart in its beyond.” The reality of belonging to a nation and of global capital tethers humanity to the planet, but more often, mortality is the binding element. “Hospice is a dollar sign,” he writes, “Pandemics are a long view.” The clarity of Joudah’s imagery is countered by a complex choral voice that feels at turns analytical and biblical in its rise and fall. Each poem seems to be spoken from various perspectives, the roving voices echoing and replacing one another in their observations until both the speaker and addressee dissolve. “You’ll be everywhere,” one poem closes. Joudah offers a nuanced vision of what connects man to the cosmos in this deeply searching book. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
Book - 978-1-57131-731-5
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