The Long Journey Into North is a fine letterpress chapbook of lyric poems that tell the story of a woman’s spiritual journey. The north of the title is literal (“Six a.m. at thirty below/the deer search for food out there/”) and metaphorical (“the body inside the body wild/polished by the miraculous dark/”).
There are many really lovely moments in the language here, and in the way the poems are configured around subtle arguments of spirituality and the erotic, and the way one illuminates the other.
— Eavan Boland, Domestic Violence: Poems
From The Long Journey Into North:
They remind me of walking young
and alone through the cloister door
down the long tiled aisle in white,
then at the altar—the pull of my hair being cut.
I thought I had married god
holding nothing but air in my thin arms.
On hands and knees, my mouth pressed
to the floor, I felt invisible.
Years ago I walked out the heavy locked door
but the cloister followed me or I followed
the quiet hallways until it seems
that I’ve come back with arms held wide
but empty still. The first time was practice
for this season when women become invisible.
Men’s eyes look through me now
as April morning sunlight slides
down the length of eastward facing trunks,
half of them wedded to light, half still in shadow
Like the egrets I saw last autumn
bodies punctuating a black pond,
their reflections rooted, as if
stillness were their one desire.
The Long Journey Into North is available for purchase through the poet.