Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Anna Rabinowitz's The Wanton Sublime (Tupelo, 2006)

Anna Rabinowitz's third book of poetry, The Wanton Sublime, explores with vigor and precision the mythology and the person of Mary as the virgin mother. Here are some favourite passages:

(what dreams hammer to a stop--?)

from "Unarmed, unwarned..."


THE VERTIGINOUS THRILL OF EXACTITUDE STEALS AWAY

from "Quick"


                                                (O lassitude of folds unfolding)

*

HER EYES CANNOT DENY
THE OBLIGATION TO PERCEIVE AN OTHER

from "Speculum and Shade"


The divine descends as weather

     a sudden rain flecked with gold

     a chill plunged through smoldering, sparking fire

from "The divine descends as weather"


3. Mornings like this syllables spread their anarchies in the sun...

4. Mornings like this labor to archive subjects/objects of faith...

*

6. Mornings like this the labyrinth holds invention at bay--

MORNING AND MAZE ARE ONE

from "A Disquisition on Unbearable
Conundrums of Being"


his hearken creeps into me

*

Must I do what I have always done--
in a cold sweat and daring nothing,
acquiesce, grip his hand and bleed his way...

from "the Book of Mandate as Helotry"


Overbright

          Everbright

                    INCESSANT SCOUR OF LIGHT

from "A Prolegomenon of
Benedictine Liturgy as Peregrine Song"


In his eyes, pools of light map no pollution, only flame
In her eyes, no flecks, no threads mar the cobalt calm

     until his hail scumbles their surface

     What is she to make of it

from "It is time to speak of the lies"


For this I, Hekenus, said: your mysteries are not welcome
My mysteries I wield but will not yield

And so to me, tender of gardens, made he tender
And so by me was he denied

the last two stanzas of "Of Ubiquitous Will"


We are water

                                             we are wager

            we will be outlived by our intentions

from "The real, the true song"


Cut to her eyes fixed on definition
Cut to the sky attempting arrival

*

Cut to her soul which is body
           which is the dust
                      of an inescapable need

from "The Wanton Sublime"


 

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