Griffin Award-winner returns with new poems that are spacious with interiority, alive with a hard-earned lightness.
Waves carried a glass float--designed to hold up a fishing net--across the Pacific. Beached it safely. Someone's breath is inside it.
In Glass Float, her seventh collection, award-winning poet Jane Munro considers the widening of horizons that border and shape our lives, the familiarity and mystery of conscious experience, and the deepening awareness that comes with a dedicated practice such as yoga. This book is about connections: mind and body; self and others; physical and metaphysical; art and nature; west and east, north and south.
In "Convexities," the book's opening poem, Munro quotes the grandfather who taught her to paint: "art is suggestion; art is not representation." No concavities, he said. Only the "little hummocks" that her pencil outlined as she did contour drawings. Munro's deft suggestion, her tracing of convexities, conveys underlying complexities, not by explication, but by looking with eyes and heart open to where mysteries almost surface.
says the baby, looking
out the window at snowflakes
the old man tears up
of the human animal--
to speak, to weep
are you moved
by words--by tears
"Like glass floats themselves, these neat, clear poems contain Munro's breath. They cross oceans. Jane Munro's Glass Float--part travelogue, part journal, part meditation--picks up where Blue Sonoma ends: the speaker finds herself alone, at the live edge of her life. ... You are not merely called on to look at yourself but to 'receive your face.' A gift." --Ian Williams, author of Reproduction
"'Art is suggestion,' the poet remembers being told by her grandfather, 'art is not representation.' That distinction holds true throughout Glass Float, and yet Munro is fiendishly good at describing things, in particular a yoga retreat in India not long after the death of her husband. The book ranges from prose poem sequences to the cryptic and beautiful lyrics for which she is best known. Always, though, Munro's poems enact the advice of one of her yoga teachers: 'Shine like a full moon without dispelling the dark.'"-David Starkey, from the California Review of Books