In Cynthia Huntington's The Radiant, what is most tragic can, and often does, become beautiful. "What/ is memory? Who stays to mourn?/ It seems we feel so much/ and then we die. The marsh hawk/ veers over the grass, listening."
Poems about Multiple Sclerosis and domestic turmoil are never drowned in the rhetoric of complaint, but seized by language that is intense yet seeks the equilibrium of its own level: "His loneliness is cold water. that makes rocks shine. Great stillness/ where he is. Then, slowly, birds."
The poems in The Radiant flow brutally from a scarred heart, from "what grows hard, and cannot be repaired." But in the end these are prayers of thankfulness, prayers that transcend desire: ". . . we belong here, where no one is refused,/ in the room we come to at last--immortal,/ irreparable, beyond hope."
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Balch Hill beach beat beneath birds were talking Black air Black Cat Waits blood blue boat body breath burns Canaan ceiling climb Cold Rain curled dark dead door Dora Maar dream earth everything eyes face fall feel fingers fire ants floated floor folds forever ghost glass going gone grass green hair Hampshire hand Harbor Home Fires Hot Wind Invasion of Canada Katherine kitchen Kubla Khan leaves legs light Lilacs lives looking Lumbar Puncture Magnetic Resonance Imaging moving muscles neck needle nerves never night Old Love Provincetown Provincetown Harbor puddle pulling quiet reach River of Doubt rocks roots sand Sea-Meadow Seawind shadows shake shore shoulders skin sleep someone running spine standing strange stream street tear things tight trees turn voice Waits for Death walk Wallace Stevens walls wasps watching weeping woman White Roses wife wing Wraith Xanadu yellow