Winner of the Poet's Prize Finalist
In his newest collection, Blind Rain, Bruce Bond transforms the known and the familiar into something surreal and new. With spare, unadorned language, he complicates what it is to be both bound to the world and yet free within that world, the way in which the imagination deepens our engagements and yet offers some measure of distance at the same time.
Bond opens with several elegies, many of which concern the last days and death of his father. Later poems explore the power of imaginative response as compensation for loss, focusing on poetry, madness, and music, which consoles paradoxically, since it is a form of loss itself. The work includes a long meditation, "The Return," that hinges on the double sense of the word "true" as suggesting both "the real" and "the loyal," and so participates, often through personal and cultural narrative, in a postmodern conversation about the power of returning as a way of grounding us ethically and emotionally to the world at hand.
One day now since my father last tried to speak,
since the outer provinces of his body shut
down like small cities when the power goes,
just the enormity of starlight to guide them
on their cold journey into dawn. I am writing
at the edge of the other half of life, the part
without my father in it; I feel the strange
sure pull of the earth I walk here,
the polish of the grass, the distance between me
and my students who look up and wait
for my first questions, knowing so little
of my life, just as I know so little of theirs,
only a poem at a time to hold us together
like children before a fire in the woods.
Bruce Bond is the author of seven previous poetry collections including Blind Rain, and most recently, Peal. He is Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.
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