Deborah Rosch Eifert in her masterful book of finely honed poems, Sewn from Water, has managed to do the most magical thing. By conjuring up the help of Owls and Jackdaws, the Coyote Goddess, Ocean and River, Balsam and Angelica Plant, all things that fly and crawl and gallop and run and by applying an artisan’s refined skills to her poems, the poet has enlivened everything with beauty. The book is just so beautiful. The poems astound you with their spare but exuberant language, with their deftly pointed but elaborate imagery, with their painfully clear, often terrible, stark but complex revelations.
Sewn from Water has at its fulcrum a fundamental paradox. How can beauty be so painful? How can a thing be beautiful that arises out of abuse, illness, loss, and loneliness? The superficial answer to this question may be, it cannot. A thing is either ugly or beautiful and cannot be both. It is fortunate for her readers that Deborah Rosch Eifert has not accepted this facile dichotomy. We are presented with a broad spectrum of experience which includes heart-warming and heart-rending, which buoys us up with optimism and buckles our knees with the terrible realities of life, which devastates us and rejuvenates us at our core. If you want superbly artful insights into what can happen and what can be done, if you want to experience artistic triumph in pure form, if you want to see how an artist, the poet, arranges the gorgeous and the awful fragments of experience into something beautiful, you must read this book. You may be a little weakened by what you find in Sewn from Water; conversely, you may also be strengthened by what you find in this book; without a doubt, you will be enthralled, you will be enlightened, and you will be moved deeply. You will be transformed.
Sewn from Water
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