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Affirmations by Karen Solie

The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out by Karen Solie


by Karen Solie

Has the past not pursued me with its face
and haven’t I turned away?
Can a thing made once not be made again?

Hasn’t the rider returned to her horse,
the dog to his master? Isn’t this the lesson
of our popular literature?
And was the trash not collected
this morning, signalling no disruption
to the civic schedule?

Isn’t the gesture, the act, inarguable?
And don’t we live a parallel life in thought,
an attentiveness not unlike

a natural prayer of the mind and not-mind?
The shadow cast between them.
Where an unlight burns.

Won’t nighttime reawaken and won’t it be familiar?
Unequivocal through Carolinian forests
which have not wholly disappeared,
and equally among rows
of wrecked cars in the junkyards,
hoods open like a choir?

In her fourth collection, and the first since the Griffin Poetry Prize–winning Pigeon, Karen Solie advances her extraordinary poetics of impetus and second thoughts. Ferrying the intimate self through the public realm, these poems meditate on the tensile strength of our most elemental bonds and beliefs.

Consistently attuned to the demotic and the enigmatic, she returns our language to us as if new again, in a style somehow both nomadic and steady, both unpredictable and meticulously crafted.

Intelligent, witty, tough-minded, and perceptive, The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out offers Solie’s most exciting and captivating work to date, in poems of natural contemplation and uncertainty ranging under the aegis of lyric grace.

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