The poems in this collection are crafted with an artful, lyrical hand, evoking a kind of elegant, spiritual accomplice in their making. However, this is no stylistic veneer or lofty removal; the stuff of Klink's poems is the mess of human encounters, and the art is often in the questions, not the absolutes. In the poem "Sorting," Klink writes:
Step into a life that is not
dreamed and try to say now if there are
remnants of illusion.
Is what you say every day real.
Are the lesser estrangements
Deeper and if so how much can you bear
and if not
What will convince you.
Does the sparrow on the t.v. antenna convince
you—it is there every day.
Her positioning and re-positioning cast loss, separation, beginnings, and endings in a multilayered light. Donald Revell says: "Joanna Klink has moved human relationship to a vatic, visionary place, and we are changed."
This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.