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Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts

June 1980
80 pages
Poetry
$14.95/£8.95 (Paperback)
Princeton University Press

:: poems from Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts ::


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‘…how I would like to catch the world / at pure idea,’ writes Jorie Graham, for whom a bird may be an alphabet, and flight an arc. Whatever the occasion—and her work offers a rich profusion of them—the poems reach to where possession is not within us, where new names are needed and meaning enlarged. Hence, what she sees reminds her of what is missing, and what she knows suggests what she cannot.

From any event, she arcs bravely into the farthest reaches of mind. Fast readers will have trouble, but so what. To the good reader afraid of complexity, I would offer the clear trust that must bond us to such signal poems as (simply to cite three appearing in a row) ‘Mother's Sewing Box,’ ‘For My Father Looking for My Uncle,' and 'The Chicory Comes Out Late August in Umbria.’

Finally, the poet’s words again: ‘. . . you get / just what you want’ and (just before that), Just as / from time to time / we need to seize again / the whole language / in search of / better desires.’ ”

Marvin Bell