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'Revolving around the deaths of the poet's parents and first wife, ""The Clearing"" is a sustained meditation on the nature of love and its transformations. Perpetually dissatisfied with memory and what one poem calls the falsehoods about death we tell ourselves, Whites poems turn on emotional openness and probing inquiry. How moving it is to find a book so haunted by tragedy and death that is, in addition, soberly life-affirming. A clearing is an empty space, but it is also a habit of mind, an act of clarification. Philip White knows pains truths, the most awful of which is that the dead don't come back. After such knowledge, he then recognizes that mind-changing sorrow dribbles away. His poems record irreplaceable loss, and they also represent one mans resilience and his ability to feel and love again. ""The Clearing"" is a very promising debut' - Willard Spiegelman. 'Philip Whites remarkable sequence conveys with great force the emptying of self and world through the loss of a sustaining love, and the grim, gradual outliving of that state. Though anything but metronomic, his poems have a versatile formal strength, and can, for instance, make use at moments of the sonnets structure. Even when confronting a world void of meaning, White has an admirable descriptive power, and nothing could be more vivid than these graveside lines from East Lawn: first the flowers were thrown, then the earth. I remember the rich incremental dark by shovelful smothering their flaming colors like a cloudbank slowly blotting out stars' - Richard Wilbur.
- Imprint: Texas Tech Press,U.S.
- ISBN13: 9780896726055
- Number of Pages: 88
- Format: Hardback
- Publisher: Texas Tech Press,U.S.
- Release Date: 2007-03-30
- Binding: Hardback