The Marble Bed
Author: Grace Schulman
Publisher: Turtle Point Press (2020)
Grace Schulman rises to new heights in these poems of lament and praise. In The Marble Bed, a couple dances on a shore that is at once a shining turf and a graveyard of sea toss, of cracked shells, a skull-like carapace, and emerald weed. Here things sparkle with newness: an orchid come alive when rescued from a trash bin; the new year hidden in an egret's wing; Coltrane's ecstatic flight; a seductive, come-hither angel; a meteor's arc; a rainbow's painted ribbons; a glacial rock that glowers in moonlight. Even the tomb sculptures in an Italian cemetery sparkle with vitality. Schulman, grieving for her late husband, believes passionately in the power of art to redeem human transience. Her faith in art enables her to move from mourning to joyful wonder of existence as she meditates on an injured world and concludes: "Because I cannot lose the injured world / without losing the world, / I'll have to praise it."
"The Marble Bed is a vision; it is an ode to life."
–Rowan Ricardo Phillips
"Each poem in The Marble Bed journeys far, wandering the territory of love's psyche."
"One of the permanent poets of her generation."