All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems

The many years Linda Gregg spent delving into the inner workings of the poetic art have resulted in a matchless lyric grace, as is amply illustrated in this selection of new poems and work from each of her previous books. Gregg’s meticulous perceptions—of everything from the natural world to subtle interactions with a beloved—combine with impeccable craft so that her work strips away the irrelevant and connects to what is most purely essential. Her realms are the erotic—exploring desire in all its forms—and the religious, with a thoroughly unorthodox connection to the natural world that was first nurtured in the woods of Marin County in her youth. Her work is infused with a search for beauty, and of all contemporary poets with a connection to the pastoral, hers is unique in presenting an animate world reminiscent of Japanese Shinto, in which rocks or glades or waterfalls are dwelling places of the deities. Gregg’s work is also steeped in the sensibility of Greece, where she lived for five years. Her poems are as pure and clear and elemental as the Greek light and the dramatic action as sharply portrayed as in classical art.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.