Poems that form an eloquent, searching contemplation of “the warp and weft of being and nonbeing.”
All the Names Between is Nova Scotia poet Julia McCarthy’s meditative and crackling-with-dark-energy third collection. From her observation of “long-horned beetles... rearranging the landscape” to an apperception of “part of me /...seeded by dust / of meteors and asteroids,” McCarthy makes palpable, in richly layered imagery and with attentiveness that unfolds stillness, the “Singing Emptiness” that informs and quickens the crow’s flight, the stones’ weight, and our own being as we move in “the defined world both elegant / and maimed.” Concerned with both the inadequacy and the necessity of word to convey world, the poems move through a shifting landscape of seasons and creatures, of the remembered dead, and of scattered stones reading the Akashic field.
Grounded in the experience of presence, where the external and internal meet, a crossroads of consciousness where “a language without a name / remembers us” and the poem is a votive act, All the Names Between reflects the shadow-light of being, of what is and what isn’t, the seen and the unseen, the forgotten and the remembered where
every elegy has an ode at its centre
every ode has an elegy around its edges.
(from “Ode with an Elegy around its Edges”)
Praise for All the Names Between:
“It is Julia McCarthy’s incomparable eloquence as a poet to, as an experienced photographer might, wield darkness as an ever more powerful lens to reveal the intricate beauty of the world as she finds it. And it is with this extraordinary vision, that McCarthy ushers us into her newest collection, All the Names Between, ‘where the dead gather like trees in their white coats’ and bats hover overhead, ‘lucifugal as ashes from invisible fires.’ These are poems scintillate with vision and stunningly intimate—showing us page after page the full, and exquisite measure of ‘night’s worth.’” —Clarise Foster, Editor, Contemporary Verse 2
“Here is a book of meditations for even those immune to poetry, a poetry with no comfort zones. McCarthy takes readers to a world where the marriage between solitude and nature gives birth to memorable, haunting lines, where the mystery of poetry lies just between the words. I have no doubt readers will embrace this book as their own.” —Goran Simic, author of Immigrant Blues and From Sarajevo, with Sorrow