Poet Jessica Fisher’s first book, Frail-Craft (Amazon) (Yale Press), has just been released as a paperback in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. This is quite an honor, and it couldn’t happen to a more gracious person.
The poems in Frail-Craft are deceptively quick to read. But they aren’t simple so much as lucid. Each one is a dream-like doubling of awareness: intense emotions and disorienting transitions are embraced without resistance, while simultaneously dissected objectively, rationally. The poetic voice is intelligent, with a nimble sense of humor – yet the poems unfold without strain or excessive self-consciousness. A lovely, lyrical book, Frail-Craft is the first collection for some time to leave me wanting to re-read it immediately (and I did).
“The Promise of Nostos”
Jessica Fisher, Frail-Craft
The sea is not bent on circularity: it says Here is an island,
But because love waits, the broken hull
is soon patched, a torn sail sewn to hold the wind,
and then once again they set course. The uncalled for jubilance
at departure, feigned tears, the make-believe dream
where so-and-so appeared to say fly away home.
They do not leave for home. They do not leave to return,
despite their promises. They leave to leave, and if I love them
it’s because they come hungry as a dream, and like a dream
their stay distills a life, or what a life could be—
Additional link: “The Right to Pleasure” (at Poetry Daily).
Fisher will be reading her poetry in Berkeley, CA on May 17.