From celebrated poet Eric Pankey, a collection exploring the presence of the divine in the seemingly ordinary.
The ancient Romans practiced augury, reading omens in bird’s flight patterns. In the poems of Augury, revelation is found in nature’s smallest details: a lizard’s quick movements, a tree scarred by lighting, the white curve of a snail’s shell. Here the sensory world and the imagined one collide in unexpected and wonderful ways, as Pankey scrutinizes the physical for meaning, and that meaning for truth.
With uncommon grace, each of Pankey’s precise lyrics advances our shared ontological questions and expresses our deepest contradictions. In a world of mystery, should we focus on finding meaning or creating it? How can the known—and the unknown—be captured in language? “If one cannot see clearly,” Pankey writes, borrowing from Freud, “one at least wants / what is unclear to be in focus.”
Augury is a masterful and magical collection from a poet of stirring intelligence, “a book of stones unstitched from the wolf’s belly.”
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Praise and Prizes
"Eric Pankey writes poems that give us back, if not the world, our relation to it—where we can learn from what resists understanding, where even withholding reveals, where the future includes all the past, and though the mind might be obliterated by the light it seeks, it seeks it still, in the ruins and in the orchard.”
"These poems demonstrate an unparalleled command of the lyric and its capacious potential. In poems like dropped stitches, aphoristic sequences, and exquisitely lineated verse, language is placed under pressure to yield its seething dynamism and urgency. Augury a book I will keep close at hand, alongside the best work of Montale, Dickinson, Celan, and Stevens. This is a book one will turn to again and again."