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The Radiant

Cynthia Huntington


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In Cynthia Huntington's The Radiant, what is most tragic can, and often does, become beautiful. "What/ is memory? Who stays to mourn?/ It seems we feel so much/ and then we die. The marsh hawk/ veers over the grass, listening." Poems about Multiple Sclerosis and domestic turmoil are never drowned in the rhetoric of complaint, but seized by language that is intense yet seeks the equilibrium of its own level: "His loneliness is cold water. that makes rocks shine. Great stillness/ where he is. Then, slowly, birds." The poems in The Radiant flow brutally from a scarred heart, from "what grows hard, and cannot be repaired." But in the end these are prayers of thankfulness, prayers that transcend desire: ". . . we belong here, where no one is refused,/ in the room we come to at last--immortal,/ irreparable, beyond hope."

Four Way Books, 9781884800498, 92pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2003

About the Author

CYNTHIA HUNTINGTON is the author of The Fish-Wife, We Have Gone to the Beach, and The Salt House (prose). She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Artists Council, and The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Huntington is Professor of English and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.