Author: Joanne Kyger
Publisher: City Lights (2015)
On Time is Joanne Kyger's first full-length collection of poetry in nearly a decade. Beginning in 2005, in the throes of the endless wars of the Bush administration, and proceeding chronologically to 2014, On Time may be seen as the day book of a master poet, moving between the personal and the political, the natural and the spiritual in a restless quest for sanity. Reflecting her practice of Zen Buddhism, and her long engagement with environmentalism, On Time is a profound examination of contemporary culture from a perspective of wisdom and maturity, permeated with righteous indignation and fierce criticism.
"On Time offers exquisite panoramic views of eternity. It reads like an early morning drive up the coast with sunlight showing through the branches. Joanne's words gain a perfect stillness hanging in the air. They sound in our mind then dissolve to a hairline edge. Glide with the turn. Get blown away. There is no greater voice in American poetry."
"Oh reader, you can just relax and spend hour upon hour inside Joanne Kyger’s On Time, Poems 2005-2014, for oodles of pleasure and line-fun! Kyger beautifully observes her life and times. She’s realistic, yet graceful and good-willed, annotating herself, her friends and acquaintances, while definitely saying no to Sartre’s dictum, 'hell is other people.' What a graceful, complicated and wonderful book!"
"Like the double meaning of the title, Kyger’s poems speak to the phenomenological—both to the observations of the state of being and to one's own placement in the world. Her poems ‘step / about entering into an agreement / with the page of the moment'. Working elegantly, tone by tone, her poems are by turns political, pointed, intimate, humorous, ordinary, and profound. Here you will find instructive or incriminating dreams, world affairs, human frailties, friends that come and go, wisdom and whimsy. Visually sculpted, rich in mood movement, provocative and pleasurable, these are poems like the moon: illuminating, in transit, stately, and enduring.”