The Voice of That Singing
by Juliet Rodeman
Juliet Rodeman creates a visionary world in which the here and now—each remembered place, historical or mythical landscape, and moment alive with casual gesture—is redeemed by intimacy.
Juliet Rodeman creates a visionary world in which the here and now—each remembered place, historical or mythical landscape, and moment alive with casual gesture—is redeemed by intimacy. Whimsical and sometimes shocking, these poems are filled with the heartbreak of what happens to our bodies. In a series of “anticipatory elegies” the poet journeys to the Underworld, moving through incantations and harmonies, hypnogogic terrors and quiet conversations under the stars, transforming individual grief with tenderness.
Morning, with Rooks
The republics are looking for a declaration,
hillsides of silence under the gale of trees.
The county of cows stands. Anyway,
the skies are windy and womanish.
I have so much background — the barn doors open.
There’s rural news from the provinces,
the republics are looking for dénouement.
Beautiful are the skies and womanish.
Promise fields of harrows and plows,
the whole countryside blooming.
Catastrophe such a rickety world.
We sleep tonight under the thinnest blankets.
Girls lift their spring skirts and slip from the balcony.
Rooks are flying south, creeking overhead.
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“The best we can say of a book is that we wish we had written it. I can say this of Juliet Rodeman’s The Voice of That Singing. I never wanted it to end, and it didn’t. I carry the singing with me still.” — Rebecca Valley, Drizzle Review
“All throughout The Voice of That Singing there gathers, most gently yet undeniably, a sense of awe and honor for creation impossible to interrupt. Mist and sunlight, fence-lines, lilacs and human voices enter here upon transcendent errands and onto an America we have nearly forgotten how to imagine, much less to love. This is Luminist writing. This is poetry that cannot fail.” —Donald Revell
“When I read Juliet Rodeman’s The Voice of That Singing, I am overcome with that first swooning when poetry transported me to the country where “our trued selves / [are] leaning over the azure balcony / above narrow streets of bread and sun.” This is one of the most beautiful books of poetry I’ve ever read. Glorious song and stunning linguistic play, scenes from the family farm — “we are radio singing, the kitchen cupboards rocking” — the ebb and flow of intimacy, the realities of the body’s changes, elegies for her sister who died of AIDS, and crossings into the other side. All the ecstasies of poetry Rodeman lays before us, inviting us to “come feel, caught around the wait, the accessibility of everything, talk-walking down any street of a new world.” — Aliki Barnstone