Sunday 27 January 2008

Susan Wheeler's Ledger

I bought Susan Wheeler's Ledger last night and finished it today. While I've enjoyed previous works, I found this the most engaging and accomplished; the final poem, "The Debtor in the Convex Mirror," is a tour de force. A few passages from the poem appear below (though I can't replicate her lineation and spacing), but to have any sense of the piece, you must go to the poem itself.

"In the country of individuation, I struck out like a match"

"the debtor--about to receive knell to what peace he might otherwise recall--worries his page"

"how far, indeed, can the soul swim out through the eyes and still return safely to its nest? That it be possible I cannot leave."

"Sometimes a welling up: I've lost thought in images. Night: a blank. The stars just stars."

"we tread with the intensity of hounds"

"The soul negotiates its right of way. O consciousness, but not without a bargain struck without."

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