Search This Blog

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review of The Government of Nature by Afaa Michael Weaver

These poems of Afaa Michael Weaver take you by the hand, like a trusted grown-up takes a child, down a landscaped and stylized pathway of disturbing memories, family ghosts, and familiar, even endearing, internal landmarks. The cadences are well wrought, formal (in the sense of elevated language), and beautifully rhythmic. In some poems the rhythm delivers a near chant. In others it becomes a strangled but pulsed whisper.

 Weaver covers some dangerous territory here. The power of this poetic collection derives from his meditations on his own experiences as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by an uncle. So much could have gone wrong in the writing. But it doesn’t. Without hatred or self-pity Weaver strikes just the right tone with intelligent contemplation and a pretty remarkable understanding of evil’s context.

 The poems themselves seem to bridge a psychic divide between the horror of past predation and the solace of a future life. In the poem The Path Weaver describes his trek into an alternative peace this way,

With my umbrella I stumble, too lonesome

for the way water soaks into the skin in the thunder,

listening for the sound of the eagles circling

above the lost children of wild pigs or what can be

caught and carried in the talon. My hands are

not free, too busy with trying to keep cover

on my head. The stones have another meditation,

a kind of counting to music. Touch me, they say,

and a thousand stone paths will make their way to me.

Once in the night when it is dry, when the pretty

rain of mountain springtime was suspended,

I walked this path to the dream of where we live.
For more of my review of The Government of Nature go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-government-of-nature-by-afaa.html

No comments:

Post a Comment