Out of True by Amy Durant, blogger at Lucy’s Football, has a poignant dedication in the front: “To everyone who doesn’t quite fit: You do. You will. Keep going. You’re almost there.” And in many ways, this dedication sets the tone for the collection. There are a number of poems in the collection that talk about love and loss, but there also are those poems heavily focused on things and people that are just out of reach as the narrator continues to strive for the ultimate goal.
Durant has a frank style that not only clearly defines the poetic story, but also draws parallels from ancient myths and literature. In “SYZYGY,” in which the moon and sun fall in love but are separated by the horizon, but Durant allows the celestial bodies to not only communicate through the tides and other messages. The lines are written in the pattern of notes between married couples asking for the dishes to be washed and errands to be run. But there is an undercurrent of disappointment as the narrator postulates that the sun will not rise and the evening will not bring the moon — the promises made that cannot be kept, like those between busy married couples and others that are forgotten or intentionally made knowing that they cannot be kept.
From "What We Build What We Destroy" (Page 20-21) I like to build a fire; the ritual of it. Placing the small sticks, twisting the paper, tenting the larger logs. The flames licking around the edges, teasing, like a schoolgirl skipping along the edge of a playground; then the bite, the moment the fish takes the bait, the roaring upward, the rush, the suck of air. All eyes on the dance of the flames. I made this. This thing that can destroy: I made this.
Readers will find her interplay of imagery fun, and perseverance becomes a strong message throughout the collection no matter if the narrator must let go of a past love or strive for a goal. The cover ties the collection together with the stairway upward, signifying the struggle and the journey all at once with the light near the top of the stairs and the darkness below. In many ways, this image demonstrates how each of us has a darkness in our lives that we journey away from, but at the same time that it can be present in the most enveloping way. Particularly with the purposeful forgetting of high school memories in “Oubliette,” in which the narrator cannot catch up with those people she has forgotten even though the scars of what happened back then remain and are ever-present. There is a truth in the forgetting that the narrator shares, illustration that the scars make up who she is even though she has forgotten the details of the faces of the perpetrators, which in itself may be a fallacy or a willful denial.
Out of True by Amy Durant is an emotional and insightful look at life’s travails and the decision to persevere and journey onward. Durant’s debut poetry collection has a unique voice that highlights the harsh realities of life and love, but also the beauty of struggle and how it makes us not only who we become, but more than what we are. Letting go is a must in this life, but also there must be a semblance of acceptance in order for humans to enjoy their lives, find joy, and evolve.
***Stay tuned tomorrow for an Amy Durant reading and giveaway***
Amy Durant is a writer living in the Capital District of New York. She blogs frequently at her own site, Lucy’s Football, about far less serious things than this, and is lucky enough to write for Insatiable Booksluts about all things bookish. She is the artistic director for one of the many wonderful community theaters in her area and lives with a very cuddly but very spatially-impaired Siamese cat. Her book, Out of True, was published by Luna Station Press in August 2012.
This is the 20th book for my 2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.
This is my 75th book for the New Authors Reading Challenge in 2012.