Figures in a Landscape
A new inclusiveness, a heady freedom, grounded in the facts of mortality, inform Gail Mazur’s recent poems, as if making them has served as both a bunker and a promontory, a way to survive, and to be exposed to, the profound underlying subject of this book: a husband’s approaching death. The intimate particulars of a shared life are seen from a great height—and then there’s the underlife of the bunker: endurance, holding on, life as uncompromising reality. This new work, possessed by the unique devil-may-care intensity of someone writing at the end of her nerves, makes Figures in a Landscape feel radiant, visionary, and exhilarating, rather than elegiac. Mazur’s masterly fusion of abstraction with the facts of a life creates a coming to terms with what Yeats called “the aboriginal ice.”
“Gail Mazur asks the fundamental questions of a life animated by a social and existential conscience. . . . Her language hums with a tension between an unflinching account of motive and a fluent lyrical grace.”—Tikkun
"Gail Mazur reinvigorates her longstanding themes with linguistic precision and surprising turns. . . . With insight and originality, she takes on poetry's great themes and takes readers into deep, psychic terrain."