The old dog now floats in the earth's crust, turning over as I walk by working a dog of different breeding. "Tricks of the Light" explores the often-fraught relationships between domestic animals and humans through mythological figurations, vibrant thought, and late-modern lyrics that seem to test their own boundaries. Vicki Hearne (1946-2001), best known and celebrated today as a writer of strikingly original poetry and prose, was a capable dog and horse trainer and sometimes-controversial animal advocate. This definitive collection of Hearne's poetry spans the entirety of her illustrious career, from her first book, "Nervous Horses" (1980), to never-before-published poems composed on her deathbed. But no matter the source, each of her meditative, metaphysical lyrics possesses that rare combination of philosophical speculation, practical knowledge of animals, and an unusually elegant style unlike that of any other poet writing today. Before her untimely death, Hearne entrusted the manuscript to distinguished poet, scholar, and longtime friend John Hollander, whose introduction provides both critical and personal insight into the poet's magnum opus.
"Tricks of the Light" - acute, vibrant, and deeply informed - is a sensuous reckoning with the connection between humans and the natural world.