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Moon Crossing Bridge


Tess Gallagher


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/1/1992)


Tess Gallagher, one of America's most accomplished poets, presents Moon Crossing Bridge, her sixth book, a descent into the world of the dead, a remembrance of her recently deceased beloved, whose presence and absence are recalled in sombre lyrical rhythms and with a extraordinary range of expressions of love and sadness.

Devoid of self-pity or illusion, yet full of dream and vision and wisdom, these beautifully intense and powerful poems bestow the gift of words to the widow's silence, to the silence of all who are muted by grief and loss. With this unusual volume, arranged in six carefully paced movements to suggest the journey from death to recovery, Gallagher charges language with its utmost responsibilities: here poetry aspires deeply and urgently beyond its cultural marginality to embrace the paradox of sharing unshareable pain and to assume again an Orphic voice and a communal necessity.

Praise For Moon Crossing Bridge: Poetry

“Tess Gallagher's is perhaps the most deeply moving and spiritual and intensely intelligent poetry being written in America today. In Moon Crossing Bridge, during a period of devastating loss, as she learns 'to sleep again on earth,' she is at the peak of her considerable powers. This is a wild and beautiful collection that I will keep close to me.” —William Heyen

“These poems are a gift of a poet's heart and soul to her readers-- songs of love and loss, of pain and recovery: a touching, at times haunting, reminder of what it means to walk through this life wide-eyed and head-up, no matter the obstacles and impasses. A brave, unsparing, searchingly considered lesson for and statement to those of us lucky enough to meet the author through this book.” —Robert Coles

“What to say about this new book is a difficulty. Are we blessed in the fact that the death of her lover, friend, and husband happened to Tess Gallagher just at the height of her mastery? An atrocious idea! Yet it will occur to every reader, I'm sure, because the degree of originality in these poems-- written, after all, in the most conventional of poetic circumstances-- makes them absolutely extraordinary. I mean originality of language and image, of imagination. Poems like "Black Pudding," "Magenta Valentine," "Deaf Poem," "Spacious Encounter," and many others are unforgettable-- death poems full of vigor; horror, love, grief, and spiritual wonder in a single vision. They compel our minds and hearts completely.” —Hayden Carruth

Graywolf Press, 9781555971564, 128pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2002

About the Author

Tess Gallagher's previous publications include Amplitude: New and Selected Poems, A Concert of Tenses (essays on poetry), and The Lover of Horses and Other Stories. She lives in Port Angeles, Washington, where she has recently completed the introduction to No Heroics, Please, the first of two volumes of The Uncollected Works of Raymond Carver.