Reunion

Reunion
Winner of the 2007 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Linda Gregerson.
University of Wisconsin Press 2007

The neighborly language of local exchange and local enchantment, slipknot and memory, cell-stream and the surgeon’s knife, runs like springwater through the poems of Fleda Brown. So perfectly tempered are the apprehensions of metaphor, so cunning are the felicities of form—rhyming as natural as human breath!—we’re tempted to think it’s not art at all. Except for the radiance, which only art, and a generous mind, can make.

—Linda Gregerson

“‘Things fall apart,’ Yeats wrote. They do in these poems. Memories, geography, the past, family, names, the body, the expanding universe—Brown scatters all these into pieces, spread across imagination’s space. But she seeks as well to compose—or at least to imply the possibility of—their reunion. Astonishingly, she succeeds. In these reunions, cast in an impressive variety of forms, Brown manages her signature, magical metamorphoses, poetry skying at its best, yet, somehow, never leaving the ground it rises from. In “Knife,” a prose arrangement about recovery from brain surgery, she writes, “Flight with its maddeningly invisible wings marries the lumbering form of things and agrees not to give up, never to give up on each other.” That each other is the center of these poems.”

—Dabney Stuart

“In one of the early poems of this rich collection, Fleda Brown imagines a return to her childhood, “as if my life were a lesson/ I have to teach.” The modesty is appealing—and misplaced, for in REUNION, the reader—without ever feeling in the least lectured at—is indeed instructed: in craft, the poems ranging from rigorously formalist to prose-poetic; in sharp observation, Brown’s details so invariably eloquent; but above all in what it is to be an observant woman with a grand heart, a penetrating mind, and not least, a keen wit.”

—Sydney Lea, author of Ghost Pain

 Fleda’s Books

 

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