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Publish Date: April 2013
The Hundred Grasses
BY Leila Wilson
Wilson writes from the periphery of an open field in this extended investigation into longing and loss, love and doubt. As the poet muses, “we wonder / what we’re not / in the field,” and reading The Hundred Grasses, we are made to wonder as much about what exists within us as how we’re shaped by what we lack. For Wilson, the act of looking can animate what is seemingly static. Stillness becomes not absence but fullness. These poems shape sounds culled from the empty spaces they inhabit, giving sense to life’s silences.
“These poems cut against the contemporary grain because they are so deeply of the actual grain—attending to seed and flower, to the germ in the furrow. Wilson finds within the agricultural that ceaseless call back toward life’s cultivation, and so these poems enter into what they also document: human kindness in the midst of the most basic of difficulties, of being a person among people, of attending to the ‘mingled yarn’ of lives in relation.”
“Formally compressed but expansive in spirit, rigorously built from precision and paradox, these brilliant poems fuse absence and presence in lines full of a feeling that has no opposite.”
—Brian Teare, author of Pleasure and Companion Grasses