Layered and heartrending and transcendent, this is Ladin’s best book yet. The speaker’s nearly omnipresent fear-and acceptance-of the possibility of impending death are offset by her eagerness to speak, her expressions of love, and the poems’ persistent music. And whether considering “the snake of time,” the curving of eternity, or “plain old forever,” these poems are chock-full of the myriad nouns of the world-which is to say the concrete feel and fabric of living: “I want to swallow the ocean of more, yes more.”
-Ellen Doré Watson, author of Dogged Hearts and pray me stay eager
-Rachel Hadas, poet, critic, and author of Questions in the Vestibule Today, “The world/grew wider, warmer, more dangerous, /more densely cross-referenced/with emptiness.” Poet Joy Ladin again gets the temper of a complicated world-inner/outer-down on the page: “life may be all there is.” Still, “. . . that tree over there [is] spinning light into sugar.” Her poems rescue us from history as we read.
-Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid The Zen admonition ‘to live as if you were already dead’ is suffused in every one of these watchful poems. Start anywhere. Or turn to “Balance,” a masterful crystallization of what happens when meditation and lyric poetry become indistinguishable from one another.
-Timothy Liu, author of Kingdom Come: A Fantasia