Gathering the Tribes (Yale Series of Younger Poets) (Paperback)
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The language and images of Carolyn Forché’s poetry are so closely bound to the natural cycles of the seasons, of generations, of the body’s functioning, that it is surprising to realize how many of her poems deal with uprootedness—hasty emigrations from Czechoslovakia and Kiev, the loss of grandparents and other elders, people leaving and being sent away. But this poetry is not a sentimental celebration of the goodness of nature, and harmony with the world is never something assumed. The harmony Forché seeks goes deeper than simple submission to natural processes or identification with an ethnic group, and it must be fought for with a tenuous faith, the balance that must be found between the ugliness, the harshness of her history—both natural and social—and its intense beauty, is what distinguishes Forché’s poetry, gives it is depth and dimension.