See — each ant staggers into the nest
with a dream-shaped crumb.
There they go, there they go — the swallows
who were late for school, doing
their extra arithmetic.
Stand here long enough and a dragonfly
will perch on your index finger,
the first note of hundreds.
Hear the plop of a palm-sized stone
hefted into the pond? It is a frog moving head first
toward center, squeezing those legs
that would be wings if water were air.
The earth must be glad: why else
would these great clouds lying low in the grass
seem like the doffed hats of giants leaving a party?
Or very cruel, to make this white violet,
then hide it under a leaf.
“Zeal is dominant and praise a signature of the poetry in The Disappearing Letters.Discovery is the goal of Carol Edelstein’s supple language — a turn of vision in an unexpected direction, an inward twist of clarity, an opening outward of new perspective, a coming together of memory and possibility. The voice of wonder in these poems is infectious.”
“Readers approaching the end of The Disappearing Letters will come upon this question, ‘Who thrums life into what was plain?’ — and they will know by then that one answer is Carol Edelstein. Exploring dream, daydream, and acute wakefulness, Edelstein connects us with realms that are simultaneously askew and straight on: ‘we make the world as we go round on it, and link // when we can our two tunnels.’ Refusing to go gentle, The Disappearing Letters decries fading and flaunts perseverance: ‘There was no end to us, so we did not stint.’ ”
Listen to a selection from The Disappearing Letters:
Listen to selections from The Disappearing Letters read by Carol Edelstein at Perugia Press’s 20th anniversary celebration at Smith College, Northampton, MA, on November 12, 2016:
Poems, “She Answers the Question I Dare Not Ask” and “Love Song on Stilts”:
Publication of this book was supported by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council.
72 pages, $14.00