Author: Meg Freitag
Publisher: BOAAT Press (2017)
“'No one is free' says Bob Dylan, 'even the birds are chained to the sky.' Edith is a book about a bird, a beloved bird that dies an untimely death and is mourned accordingly. Edith is ethereal, part muse, part icon, part confidant, her name echoes through the poems in what Pound would call the “manner of the musical phrase”, the way the name Tarumba sounds through the work of the Mexican poet Jaime Sabines, or the name Naomi in Bill Knott’s first collection, repeats itself like a talisman.
She disappears only to reappear, spreading her wings over memory, loneliness, and self-imposed solitude, an ordinary life extraordinarily told. Freitag’s imagination flutters and swerves. A lyric and apocalyptic vision of love lost, these are poems of the murmuring, devouring self, written with the leaping exuberance of appetite, full of dark humor and underlying tenderness. The surreal sensibility that drives these poems is full of surprise and precision, the images original, piling on top of one another:
The stars fell into the river and rusted.
…The moon drains its blood / into an ocean on the other side of the world.
…the old life with its milk of tiny diamonds.
In a time when so much of our poetry seems ironic and detached, its language overwrought or restrained, its associations timid or excessively mentalized, it’s a true pleasure to encounter this fresh new voice, vibrant and full of the wild sap of life. And like Edith, chained to the sky."