Saturday poetry pick: Our Vanishing

book coverI first read Frannie Lindsay’s poems in Missouri Review and was smitten, stricken by her startling, searing imagery. I bought all three of her books. When her new volume, Our Vanishing, came out, the good folks at Open Books sent me an email letting me know, asking whether I would like a copy. (Now that’s my kind of personal shopper.)

This new book astonishes softly–the poems often quiet on the surface but just underneath each line, each image, that same breath-stealing intensity. Poems of family, gently wrenching poems for an aging dog, prayer poems, poems of witness, including the devastating poem “The Gathered Stones.”

From the very first page, with

So what say the pink and white petunias,
limp as rinsed lace from the rain
in their earthenware pot. So what

says the yellow and black baby snail
bustling along her homely millimeter
over the concrete step.

And the birds of the early evening
starting their practicing, little prodigies
on public school flues: so what.

These poems rivet. For a sample, read “Cradle Song to One Who Is Afraid of the Dark.”