In his first book of poetry in twenty years, Michael J. Rosen captures life in the foothills of the Appalachians. Every Species of Hope: Georgics, Haiku, and Other Poems uses a variety of poetic forms, as well as Rosen’s own pen-and-ink drawings, to give voice to the predicaments of living among other creatures who share a plot of land we think we claim as home. The poems are an attempt at homeostasis: that balancing act every creature works at every hour of every day—a way of living peacefully, expending the right energy in the most productive ways, avoiding or deflecting trouble, gravitating toward sources of fulfillment and contentment.
At the center of this book is a suite of poems inspired by Virgil’s Georgics, or “poems of pastoral instruction.” In Rosen’s case, he is more the student than the teacher. Likewise, five short sections of haiku continue his meditation on—or mediation of—art and nature. As he has written, “Haiku provides a brief and mirror-like calm in the choppy waters—in the undertow—of current events: a stillness in time where more than our singular lives can be reflected.”
Illustrated with two dozen pages from the author’s own journal, Every Species of Hope is the consummation of decades of observation, humility, and awe.