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Falling Out of the Sky


64 pages / 5.50 x 8.00 inches / no illustrations


  Hardcover / 9780807123591 / March 1999
  Paperback / 9780807123607 / March 1999

Falling Out of the Sky is a perfect title for this wonderful collection, in which a powerful and finally consoling tension arises from skillful and honest renditions of the peril we enter into by loving one another. Deborah Pope’s sensibility meets the world as flint meets steel, striking sparks and setting fires.”—Henry Taylor

While the poems of Deborah Pope’s latest collection, Falling Out of the Sky, are rooted in the here and now—the place where tables are set, children play, and empty cans collect—they are also suffused with a spirit of transfiguration and the miraculous. They map an earthy, palpable, yet oddly luminous landscape that embraces our most intimate relationships with lovers, relatives, and the body itself. Ranging over this terrain that is at once familiar and fearsome, Pope engages difficult questions and complex emotions, hard truths and fierce connections.

Pope employs plain yet sensuous language, lyrical intensity, and startling images to deal with both the familiar (“Age. How to think of it.”) and the extraordinary (“An angel has begun to speak to me”). There is the anger of children, the clutch of illness, the rawness of love and grief alike, the strangeness of revelation. At times they literally wrestle with angels.

In this mature, powerful collection, Pope boldly reveals her own grief, fears, and regrets as well as the grace, mercy, and love she shows and is shown. Falling Out of the Sky beautifully communicates the profound and enigmatic relationship between love and desire, hate and betrayal, despair and hope. 

Deborah Pope is professor of English at Duke University.

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