Graywolf Press, 2011
This substantial volume of Tess Gallagher's new and selected
poems spans nearly forty years, and highlights her presence
in American poetry as a spiritual guide, a speaker who often
addresses her readership directly and openly. This is evident
in poems like, "Because the Dream is My Tenderest Arm"
which ends, "if I speak of the soul, it is only to use a halo of
doubt / to mark the site of a true disappearance."
Included in this collection are many of her later, elegiac
poems written in homage to loved ones, including her late
husband, Raymond Carver. In a poem for Carver titled
"Sixteenth Anniversary", she writes
We survive on ritual, on
sweet peas in August, letting
the scent carry us, so at last the door
swings open and we’re both
on the same side of it for a while.
The book ends with a series of new poems written in western Ireland, evoking the scenery with Gallagher's singular sense of spirituality and mystery.