One Sun Storm

Endi Bogue Hartigan, Author . Center for Literary Publishing $15.95 (94p) ISBN 978-1-885635-11-2

More interested in the generative possibilities of questions than in their answers, the well-crafted, rangy free-verse lyrics of Hartigan’s Colorado Prize–winning debut obliquely interrogate humanity’s relationships with larger forces, both natural and man-made, as well as notions of love and motherhood. Nature itself is reshaped simply by virtue of man’s way of looking at it: “Here the animals/ we’ve plucked/ from books or fields, [are] placed// into our hearts/ like lanterns.” The thrilling title poem, a cascade of meticulously described actions and things, views many created objects as though they are part of nature, equating “One bus arriving with blue and black windows” with “One goldfish darting six inches.” Yet amid all this transformation, a sense of paralysis surfaces, as if seeing beyond appearances merely reveals other appearances. Fans of Jorie Graham will find much that is familiar—and much to like—in Hartigan’s careful lines and obsessive, off-center observations. Hartigan distinguishes herself from her peers—she shares with many young poets a hip penchant for fragmentation and elliptical imagery—with her careful eye (“Wood chips/ burning/ by the pharmacy”) , her ear for the ways soft and sharp sounds make music together (“one leaf from among/ the accumulate of leaves”), and her earnest search for “One voice rising and falling in one chorus.” (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/17/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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