Green Bodies by Rosemary Winslow

Rosemary Winslow’s Green Bodies is divided into three parts, with the first section of poems steeped in deep grief and struggle for understanding following the death of a brother. From “To a Fish” (Page 14-15), “I see a knife/once put to me,/bone opened white to daylight,/red floor on concrete.” Many of these poems have an inner rhythm and musical quality, though the music is dark and somber.

The second section’s narrator begins with poems of cutting oneself off from the outer world and possibly the grief felt in the first section. From “The Gothic Truth” (Page 40), “not making a sound, she watches the grindstone/wobbling hung turning him spitting not stopping/” Throughout the second section, the poems examine the paralysis felt by the narrator by that oppressive grief. From “Carnal” (Page 37), “crumpled and blooded she curled/under a stairwell in hay”

In the final section of this volume, the narrator is rising from the darkness and turmoil of grief to find a way to move on, evolve, and become a stronger self. Readers will enjoy the complexity of these poems, their deep secrets, and highly emotional language.

5 a.m. (Page 54-55)

I rise from a wreckage of sleep
again the long blind scarf of grief

and yesterday and yesterday’s
gunmetal page

the porch lights hiss
at the shroud-hung sky

I go down the stairs to the garden
to be where the roses are leaning

heavy and sweet on the long fence
I lift my face from burial

into burial in the softness of flowers
that is like the skin under the necks of animals

tears shine
in the small white crosses

in their fire centers
the start clematis has made

and entered on
the dead espaliered pear

suddenly I am

wheep and again
wheep wheep I hear

hidden birds
coming alive

one by one
in the trees

thick pollen of light
undraping the roof lines

composing the sky

This is my 3rd book for the poetry review challenge.