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“Whatever the subject, rich music follows the tap of Molly Peacock’s baton.”—Washington Post
When a psychoanalyst became a painter after surviving a stroke, her longtime patient, distinguished and beloved poet Molly Peacock, took up a unique task. The Analyst is a new, visceral, twenty-first century “in memoriam” of ambiguous loss in which Peacock brilliantly tells the story of a decades-long patient-therapist relationship that now reverses and continues to evolve. Peacock invigorates the notion of poetry as word-painting: A tapestry of images, from a red enameled steamer on a black stove to Tibetan monks funneling glowing sand into a painting, create the backdrop for her quest to define identity.
From “In Our Unexpected Future”:
…for frocks outlast pillars. But feelings
outlive frocks. The immaterial storms through,
a force beyond years (a mere four since you
were nearly felled). It isn’t what happened that lasts.
Not art, either, but the savory core. What’s felt.
Praise For The Analyst: Poems…
— Philip Schultz
With gusto, compassion, and wit matched by consummate craft and remarkable tonal range, Peacock revels in the liberties of language. The stroke of the ‘intimate witness’ (the poet’s beloved analyst) spurs a series of lyric meditations on the forces that shape and reshape identity. With the singular achievement of her seventh collection, Peacock transforms her art.
— Phillis Levin
Guided to ‘listen, question, and watch things heal,’ I felt both the sting of recognition and the balm of comfort in these honest, graceful poems.
— Rachel Zucker
Psychoanalysis has always been of a piece with the various languages of literature—a kind of practical poetry—taking its life, as theory and practice, from a larger world of words. A session lasts 50 minutes, [and it’s] always at the same time each week, the way a sonnet is 14 lines. As Molly Peacock superbly demonstrates in The Analyst, the form makes possible the articulation.
— Adam Phillips
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393254716, 128pp.
Publication Date: January 3, 2017