Ã¢ÂÂFrom Where the Rivers Come is a saving grace. What heaven to read a poet who finds a way to make room for it all, not just the suffering, but the joy hard won.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂJim Moore
From Where the Rivers Come never flinches from the bodyÃ¢ÂÂs inevitable vulnerabilities, nor from the soulÃ¢ÂÂs response to the emotional collisions of living in a body. From sideshow performers, such as the Ã¢ÂÂAnatomical WonderÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂHuman Pincushion,Ã¢ÂÂ who suffers from a congenital immunity to pain, to victims of torture and clinically depressed strangers, Solly gives us exacting portraits of human life at the most fragile and resilient extreme. He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt hesitate to include his own pain: the loss of love, his motherÃ¢ÂÂs death, his own medically reconfigured body.
Richard Solly, however, doesnÃ¢ÂÂt limit his poetic pilgrimage to descriptions of pain; rather, he advances the ancient argument between body and soulÃ¢ÂÂhow one can often become a stand-in for the other. The body, Solly suggests, is not simply a container or tabernacle for the superior and distant soul. The linkage between body and soul is much more fierce and immediate, as he writes, Ã¢ÂÂI gave birth to you, / bound your wings to my shoulders.Ã¢ÂÂ Here is a language of sung gratitude for Ã¢ÂÂthe wider body of the river of coffee and irretrievable losses,Ã¢ÂÂ including lilacs and lentils, the nurses who stop by after midnight, walks around a city lake, even the priests who read Solly his last rites, not once, but twice.
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