Transitory

Transitory

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Author: Jane Augustine

Publisher: Spuyten Duyvil (2002)

"Captures the vivid, bright, sadness of life surrounding love and death, particularly when death comes to someone young—in this case, her daughter-in-law, Michelle (born Phuong Vu), a child-survivor of the war in Vietnam."

–Marilyn Webb

"Jane Augustine’s moving meditation on her young daughter-in-law’s death also engages an ancient inquiry into the purpose of poetry itself. 'Alone in a cold house,' as she writes in one of the spare, transparent poems in the sequence, 'I think of books—how long they last, how late it is.' The lateness of the hour she invokes is not only the heart-wrenching early loss of youth and love that stalks this book, but also the late moment of our own times, the wars and miseries we rain down on our kind. This document of enduring, patient witness belongs to the world of 'voice' rather than to the genre of poem or prose. It is a luminous companion from—and for—a hard time."

–Patricia Hampl