“. . .dog earing the ‘good parts’ goes for naught; there are too many calling me back for another visit. . . Hathaway’s images and phrases make themselves at home in us, lingering long after reading.”
In “What Does it Mean to Be a ‘Religious’ Poet,” an article by Brian Volck in Image, Volck examines the relationship between poets of faith, contemporary culture, and religion—”a fraught term” in the twenty-first century. As part of this discussion, Volck highlights the 2019 releases of poets Scott Cairnes, Jeanne Murray Walker, Kathleen O’Toole, and Slant’s own Jeanine Hathaway.
Of Hathaway’s work Volck writes: “From [Slant Books] comes Jeanine Hathaway’s Long after Lauds, a handsomely designed book that’s a delight to hold in one’s hands. Once again, my habit of dog earing the ‘good parts’ goes for naught; there are too many calling me back for another visit. A contemplative discipline is evident in Hathaway’s words: attentive presence; psalm-like exactness; gentle, self-deprecating wit; an unpretentious hospitality. Like Cairns, Hathaway closely attends the moods and motions of the body. A middle-aged monk pulls at a bell rope, ‘sandaled feet on the ground,/steady in the body’s atmosphere/of ease and pleasure and of pain’s interruptions. ‘A surgical scar resembles a sunset, ‘the slash of color/drawing down the night to meet the light’s/last ray.’ In a moment of sorrow and loss, she goes to a grocery where a compassionate stranger regards ‘my blank unbalanced face that brooks/no entry. Yet she enters, rests her ringed hand/light but firm on my arm.’ As with familiar prayers, Hathaway’s images and phrases make themselves at home in us, lingering long after reading.”
Read the full article here: “What Does it Mean to Be a ‘Religious’ Poet” by Brian Volck, featured in Image‘s “Good Letters”