New perspectives on environmental concerns is one of the innovative themes in this second book of poetry by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Animals in the House. Originally from New York, she has lived in Kansas over twenty years. In that time, she has been active in regional and national ecological organizations. In this book, she combines personal and natural motifs into her own mythic testimony. In her original voice, she writes of an intimate knowledge of life in the country.
When she writes about surviving a disastrous car wreck, her concern for nature is still evident:
Look at the tree one way, and it’s whole,
but the other half is cut away for a power line
like the car I totaled—one side perfect
so you could sit in the driver’s seat,
look straight ahead, everything fine
except the plush of the passenger door
leans in just a little. . . .
Surprises in the language and in the images make this an essential book for literature in the 21 st century.
What other authors say about this book:
“Nothing prepares you for the real,’ writes Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg in the soaring flock of tones and images that is this wonderful book of poems. Nothing prepares us, and so we stumble and fall and break into blossom, bite persimmons, and birth ourselves again and again.” —David Abram, author, The Spell of the Sensuous
“Mirriam-Goldberg’s voice is imbued with love, humor and wisdom. She wields plain words powerfully. Her comprehension of nature borders on the absolute. Her wonderful poems state the seamlessness of the cosmic and mundate, the molten paradoxes of intimacy and otherness, identity and separation.”
—Stephanie Mills, author, Epicurian Simplicity and In Service of the Wild