Seeking the Other Side: Poems
Jane Olmsted (2012)
$16 softcover


Praise for Seeking the Other Side
“Never have words made pain more real nor death more absurd than in these existential, mystical poems by Jane Olmsted. This work will shine when all our eyes are closed because that is what happens when language arrives at Truth. These poems are rare and true and beautiful. Treasure them.”
–Sena Jeter Naslund, Editor, Fleur-de-Lis Press, Ahab's Wife, The Fountain of St. James Court, or Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman, & six others

“I know this hole, but how?/I have to kneel to look through,” writes Jane Olmsted in her powerful collection, Seeking the Other Side. The “hole” quoted refers to the literal cavity that has caught her attention, yet Olmsted’s looking at the negative space of a great loss, too—a loss that must be lived with, if not understood. This poet ruptures the cliche, asking “Would the glass remain half-full if a fist/ripped out the heart and settled/into that slippery absence?” There are no answers metaphor or pathetic fallacy can provide, only more thoughtfully shaped questioning, “habits of noticing,” “strange pronunciations/of familiar places.” Poems about memory, loss, and the self’s adjustments are collected with poems about trees and the forms of trees, which provide arms and roots to what feels devastatingly vacant. In life as in thought, “there is cavity involved,” yet, as this poet makes beautifully clear, there is form and shape and listening: “if you have no answer,/go then to the lonely place—/I will meet you there.
–Lisa Williams, Gazelle in the House
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