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All posts by Ann Marie Thornburg

“Please come to my house lit by leaf light”: On Brenda Shaugnessy’s “Visitor”

Brenda Shaugnessy’s powerful third volume of poems, Our Andromeda, has been considered as a collection many places. Shaugnessy says the book “has to deal with the notion of alternative realities, alternate selves, doubles, twins, sisters…. What if this didn’t happen? On Andromeda, our sister galaxy, it’s possible that we could have been the same exact doubles of ourselves.” Over at Bookforum, Monica Ferrell says this about the book’s title poem: “In a twenty-page apostrophe to the speaker’s child, the story of his birth and injury is told with heart-rending plainness.”

“She Seems A Part of Me”: On Carl Phillips’s “White Dog”

It is March, and I cannot remember this winter’s first snow, though I am sure I entered its white hive. By now it has been replaced. Weather comes and goes; we enter and exit. Today I have been “out” of weather (indoors), “in” weather (outdoors), back “out” of weather, and so on. This movement between out and in reminds me of the shifting relations—between owner and dog, literal and figurative, holding-on and release—that unfold in Carl Phillips’s poem “White Dog.”

“Small Things Gravitate Toward Large”: On Mary Quade’s “Giant Fiberglass Cow”

I live near a freeway overpass, and can hear the cars rushing under if I am quiet. They sound like wind trapped in a dream-corridor, softly insistent. The sound of the cars reminds me of taking road trips further into the Midwest: Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. In her poem “Giant Fiberglass Cow,” Mary Quade addresses a roadside statue I might have seen while traveling.