Today's book of poems - The Occupied World, Alice Major, University of Alberta Press, 2006.
These are the days of supplication and suspense
when the inevitable maintains
the delicate, rigorous balance of a pen
poised at right angles to the plane
from the poem Yomtovim, Alice Major
Our place in the world mapped out by a poet of vision. Major writes with alarming intelligence, her pen poised at the right angle, her keen vision exploring the intricacies in our human fabric. I fear I am unequipped to properly convey the way these poems made me feel.
At first I was intimidated by the breadth of Major's knowledge, and not a little jealous. She seems to know everything about everything and not in that horrible way brilliant people sometimes have. Major educates with every poem but these are never lectures, they radiate the warmth of a sage voice, one that winnows the chafe out of language.
These poems are all about being human, that endless journey. Alice Major is one of those writers who makes whatever she chooses to discuss interesting.