cover image Wound Is the Origin of Wonder

Wound Is the Origin of Wonder

Maya C. Popa. Norton, $26.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-324-02136-0

Popa’s subtle and gorgeous second collection (after American Faith) maps the conflicting effects of having “wanted all the world, its beauties,/ and its injuries.” The ecstatic language of these meditations and confessions is animated as much by pain as by joy. Popa, a reviews editor at PW, refuses to disparage the world simply because it does not offer “the good news I had hoped for” and mines childhood for glimmers of hope to light the contemporary darkness with “Full days settled by wildflower and stone.” She also asks for passion and tenderness in love (“Let’s be hungry a little/ while longer. Let’s not hurt each other if we can”) to counter the weight of the pandemic, lifted a little when “Friends fed the day hope/ like a broken fever.” She turns to literature—Milton, Gilgamesh, the Bible—as well as to nature (and even WebMD) for guidance, seeking consolation wherever it may be found. “The wound is where/ the light enters us,” she writes. Indeed, in these pages, the truth of each day is brutal but also beautiful. (Nov.)