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November 10, 2017 / barton smock

review of Ruth Awad’s {Set to Music a Wildfire}

kingsoftrain

Set to Music a Wildfire
poems by Ruth Awad
SIR Press, 2017

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Will you die for an idea?” – Ruth Awad, from Let me be a lamb in a world that wants my lion

When so much praise is reserved for the universal, for a thing that touches all things, here is Ruth Awad’s Set to Music a Wildfire– a work that feels pressed into the page. A work that picks up the pieces, not after, but during. A work that pauses in order to continue. A rewriting of the detail’s bible. I love this book for its spiritual reportage:

There was the broken teapot and two women, their clothes
torn open, and an infant. (Sabra and Shatila Massacre / Refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon, 1982)

For the way its observant foresight lets image stand:

Tripoli rooftop.
…The sea lipped its insoluble gossip
to the shoreline.

The…

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