All of It Singing (Magill's Literary Annual 2009)
The older poems in All of It Singing are drawn from Linda Gregg’s collections Too Bright to See (1987), Alma (1989), The Sacraments of Desire (1992), Chosen by the Lion (1995), Things and Flesh (1999), and In the Middle Distance (2006). This collection spans a landscape of love, loss, and redemption. Beginning with poems from Too Bright to See, Gregg starts small in “We Manage Most When We Manage Small,” with an image of hair, which “falls before you./ Fragile and momentary, we continue.” In fact, the two lovers in the poem are so vulnerable and ethereal that they are only “Managing as thin light on water” and “love a little, as the mice huddle.” From this small moment, Gregg’s poetry expands.
Through personification, Gregg gives elements of nature a mythical quality, as in her depiction of the sun and the moon in “Different Not Less”: “The sun, bull-black/ and ready to return, holds back so the moon,/ delicate and sweet, may finish her progress.” In this description, the strength of the sun and the translucence of the moon interplay to create a kind of eclipse, coming close but not quite touching, like the lovers in the poem who “look into the night, or death, our loss,/ what is not given.” The speaker describes how she and her lover “see another world alive/ and our wholeness finishing.” This observation of wholeness and detachment from it is also...
(The entire section is 1969 words.)
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