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We Start With What We're Given


We Start With What We're Given by Kelsay Books at Charles Freeland Poetry. Hurry! Limited time offer. Offer valid only while supplies last. The poems in Miriam O’Neal’s We Start with What We’re Given are attuned to the present and to the past, recognizing how our lives are rooted in


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The poems in Miriam O’Neal’s We Start with What We’re Given are attuned to the present and to the past, recognizing how our lives are rooted in the historical. O’Neal’s verses gesture to “the loveliness of lovers in [the] dark” who are sometimes visited by the dead—and quietly instructed on “how to be unseen while seeing, how to lay your hope in a coffin, and pretend it is a bed.” We Start with What We’re Given is a necessary meditation on memory, as well as a journey into the layered temporal landscape of the living.

Brian Turner

Truth will cut through darkness writes Miriam O’Neal in her exceptional debut collection, We Start with What We’re Given. These profound lyrical narratives move her forward toward buoyancy and hope, as she realizes It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen my father’s blue eyes see me. But yesterday I understood, we carry all that being seen inside us—it’s what calls us to the looking back, toward gardens, almost whole. But such looking back also takes her into a different territory, a collective dehumanizing past, to voices of those otherwise forgotten—represented by Esther Lurie, a Latvian Jewish painter interned in the Kovno ghetto during the German occupation, and a central figure in this collection. O’Neal’s revelations are always hard earned, but her questions conciliate: Will you close your eyes, breathe and rest, she asks, if I will promise/to keep my own eyes open until morning. We Start with What We’re Given is a remarkable, necessary book.

Dzvinia Orlowsky

Sorrow and beauty are intimately connected in Miriam O’Neal’s luminous, energetic poems, and the final section in We Start with What We’re Given is about the art of Esther Lurie, who documented the Holocaust. Local, unmomentous beauty also restores what has been lost, and I am sure I’ll return many times to a poem in which the poet’s mother breaks her arm when she rides a mattress down the stairs, pushed by her daughters. The doctor asks “Why would you let them push you down the stairs?” and the mother replies “I got to fly.”

Alice Mattison

Additional Information

Manufacturer:Kelsay Books
Publisher:Kelsay Books
Studio:Kelsay Books
EAN:9781947465916
Item Size:0.19 x 9 x 9 inches
Package Weight:0.38 pounds
Package Size:6 x 0.19 x 0.19 inches

We Start With What We're Given by Kelsay Books

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We Start With What We're Given

Brand: Kelsay Books
Condition: New
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