Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review: Samuel Green's The Grace of Necessity

Next to my computer is a book of poems my eldest daughter passed on to me -- the legacy of a class she took in literature of the Pacific Northwest.

So when a program is slow to load, or a website is slow to open, or a file takes its own sweet time to appear -- in short, anytime technology makes me think that maybe the Manicheans were on to something, I reach for Samuel Green's The Grace of Necessity.

Green's poems are short, reflective, and rooted in his life on a remote island in Puget Sound. For the past 30-years, he's run a small press that specializes in poetry; just now, he's also serving as Washington's Poet Laureate.

And so he writes of chainsaws, digging graves, and the sight of plums falling to the ground on September 11. A work bee inspires a meditation on death; the sight of a hawk on a telephone wire makes him realize that "sometimes, there's nothing to do but hold on."

Good advice to bear in mind as I wait for my computer.

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