Poems of elegy in the aftermath of a great love from the internationally best-selling, award-winning novelist (Fugitive Pieces, The Winter Vault) and poet.
In All We Saw, Anne Michaels returns with strikingly original poems to explore one of her essential concerns: “what love makes us capable of, and incapable of.” Here are the ways in which passion must accept, must insist, that “death . . . give / not only take from us.” This piercing short collection treats desire in a style that is chaste, spare, figuratively modulated, and almost classical in its precision. In lyrics that ponder what happens to the bodies of lovers–so vital when together, different when apart, death coming to one before the other–Michaels embraces both the intimacy and the vastness of the connection between two people. Love’s sheltering understanding is a powerful presence in all the poems, with its particular imagery (the ringing fog, the white page of the bed), as is the shattering loss of its end. With Michaels, we enter a space that is “not inside / not outside: dusk’s / doorway,” where memory might be kept alive.
ANNE MICHAELS is a novelist and poet. Her books are translated into more than forty-five languages and have won dozens of international awards, including the Orange Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, and the Lannan Award for Fiction. Among many other honors… More about Anne Michaels
“Deeply felt . . . Like assembled fragments from an ancient Greek lyricist, [Michaels’s] latest collection coheres to form a spare plaintive elegy for deceased friends and lovers.” —Fred Muratori, Library Journal