The big theme-- perhaps the only theme-- is the narrative that unfolds between the bookends of our birth and our death. Each of us is born into a time and place-- our present-- and must answer the questions only we can answer for ourselves: Who are we? What will we do? What choices will we make? The Largeness of Rescue helps us travel along our own storyline by doing what the best art does so well: engages us with ourselves and with our world, and encourages us to slow down and consider our very humanness.
About the author
Eva Tihanyi was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1956 and came to Canada when she was six. She teaches at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, and has lived in the Niagara Peninsula since 1989, currently in St. Catharines. She is the author of seven books of poetry and a collection of short stories, Truth and Other Fictions (Inanna 2009). She was the literary editor of Niagara Current magazine from 2002 to 2004; freelance fiction reviewer for the National Post (2002 to 2009) and Toronto Star (2000 to 2006); and first novels columnist for Books in Canada (1995 to 1999) (responsible for selecting short list for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award). Flying Under Water: Poems New and Selected is her eighth book. See her website .
"The Largeness of Rescue is a book of both restlessness and acceptance; both a longing for clarity and a reconciliation. In this way, the poems form a moving whole, seeking resolution in the larger embrace of art."
-- Anne Michaels, author of Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault
"Eva Tihanyi's The Largeness of Rescue explores the many ways we both long for and resist rescue-- rescue from ourselves, from each other, from the vagaries of the world. These poems sit poised at the cusp of a paradox, that place between "hope and hopelessness," "horror and wonder" ("Precept") where the personal explodes into the public realm. "I" becomes "you" becomes "we." This is a book about borders, about "the middle place of possibility" that can move us past "carrion fear." Tihanyi's cycle contains both shorter lyrics and long poems, some of which explore the lives of artists and visionaries whose work sustained a precarious creativity: the Romantic poets, T.S. Eliot, and jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Among these luminaries, also arise the poet's peers, family, friends, fellow artists, and loves. The book reveals how, not despite, but though our common uncertainties and frailties, we hold the power to rescue. Rescue becomes not only a noun but a verb. Choosing to become rescuers (each in our own small way) is in itself a means of rescue. In the end it is the heart's measure that proffers hope: "but always I will side with love / and always I will choose."
-- Susan McCaslin, author of Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga and The Disarmed Heart
"The Largeness of Rescue is a grave and tender collection, much preoccupied with issues of choice and destiny, and how they resonate throughout our lives. "Is it a tragedy when you choose?" she asks of the self-destructive jazz genius Chet Baker, and envisions T .S. Eliot turning his back on the "bad Russian novel" of his life to "foray into literature / on a plank of contrived neutrality / which he himself does not trust." Most of the personae of these poems are nameless and their struggles and regrets less celebrated, but no less resonant: having been laughted at at twelve for his clumsiness, a man refuses to dance, in later years, with the wife who loves dancing, so that "Eventually / no one is dancing." What connects them all is an awareness of life's central paradox: we are always hoping to arrive somewhere better, even though all we have is the present moment."
-- Susan Glickman, author of Safe as Houses
"With clarity and insight, Eva Tihanyi's poetry offers both personal revelation and mature reflection on art, time and history. Serene in spirit and precise in language, The Largeness of Rescue is her finest work."
-- Carole Giangrande, author of Here Comes the Dreamer and Midsummer
"Among my favorite poems in this reflective collection are those tributes Eva Tihanyi composes to the artist. There is her powerful evocation of Chet Baker and the "tendrils of melody" and "charismatic notes" that emanate from his "brooding trumpet"; the complex mix of his giftedness, his inconsolability, the lure of fame and the prison of his addiction. Then too, she offers a rich portrait of T. S. Eliot, who struggled to "crack the code of his insurgent heart"; and before him, Tihanyi remembers the legacy of the Romantic Poets, the places they lived and their "allegiance to words," which can "ignite like a tiny sun." As she notes the particulars of all their lives, and the continuum of learning our own, Tihanyi asks that we pledge to live-- to live in love-- in spite of the paradoxes which fill this collection with subdued wonder."
-- Carol Lipszyc, author of The Saviour Shoes and Other Stories and Singing Me Home
"Long-time readers of Eva Tihanyi's powerful poetry have always appreciated her clarity and candor. Now, in her eighth collection, The Largeness of Rescue, we see the poet's deep reckoning with loss, longing and mortality. Whether it's a student crying in her office, or the slow demise of jazz genius Chet Baker, or the poets Byron, Keats, and Shelley in Italy, Tihanyi's soulful poems show an intimate understanding of life-- and often the great human cost of art. Tihanyi offers us poetry that whispers from one heart to another."
-- Bruce Hunter, author of Two O'Clock Creek, new and selected poetry and In The Bear's House
"Eva Tihanyi writes with clarity by employing powerful metaphors and epigrammatic language with an unflinching philosophical honesty to capture the conditions of our lives. If there is a dark atmosphere in some of these poems, there is also an underlying hope expressed in tender affirmation."
-- Laurence Hutchman, author of Beyond Borders
"Art is not a closed circle / or a straight line." Eva Tihanyi's poems evoke many moments of art, from Chet Baker's music drifting from an Italian prison to a cave artist place handprints on rock. She pieces these moments together along the curving trails of lyric and perception."
-- Alice Major, author of Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science and Memory's Daughter