poem index

book

The Bitter Withy

Year

2009

Type

Poetry Book
The Bitter Withy by Donald Revell

Donald Revell's eleventh book is a collection of the crisp, intense poems for which he is known. The poems face the metaphysical and the religious head-on while leaving the reader with a feeling of new vision and open meditation. Revell does not sink into thoughts of death but plunges forward through them into a relationship with the beyond. When his leaps are mysterious, they give rise to a familiar feeling, the pleasure of struggling with an idea until it is a companion. Part prayer, part song of childhood, family, and nature, the poems create a meditative knowing about the world. The poem "Monterey" ends:

My father's birthday.
He is in heaven with his eyes.
When I was a child I was rain,
And he and God were all the clear,
Fragrant spaces and mind among mine.
The birds knew, and the rainbow too. I was
   looking.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.

more books

book
Poetry Book
That This by Susan Howe
book
Anthology
Teaching with Fire
book
Anthology
Poems for the Millennium