The Light Between (Paperback)
Wayne State University Press, 9780814336144, 104pp.
Publication Date: February 15, 2012
In The Light Between, award-winning poet Terry Blackhawk probes beyond and through the painful dissolution of a long marriage to examine the complexities of love with bravery and delicacy. Mythical themes, elements of the natural world, and masculine/feminine polarities resonate throughout Blackhawk's poems as she explores loss, the nature of relationships, and the integrity of the individual soul. Ultimately, The Light Between celebrates our connectedness to one another, to the planet, and to the natural world.
Section one opens as Blackhawk visits a lonely mythical kingdom and introduces images of an empty bed and the betrayed wife Medea, whose identification with nature signals one of the book's main motifs. Section two presents deeply personal poems that flutter through time and lingering memories, while in section three, the gaze of the poet turns upward and outward to nature. Section four returns to the social world-to the street, traffic, visual art, and teaching-which poses the possibility of love once more. Section five celebrates the union of man and woman with some tender (and sometimes comical) love poems. Throughout, Blackhawk addresses heavy issues such as divorce and solitude, but also shows a playful side with lighthearted poems. She describes an imaginary meeting with poet laureate Billy Collins in one poem, and in another writes about finding a dried-up eggplant while sweeping the kitchen.
Whether writing about the intricacies of loss or our connection to nature and one another, she manages-like the speaker with the decayed fruit in "The Eggplant"-to "poke around and find the beauty of it." Students and teachers of writing and fans of poetry will enjoy this beautifully crafted collection.