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The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002-2019
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8229-8781-9 | Cloth: 978-0-8229-4640-3

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Alicia Suskin Ostriker’s passionate voice has long been acknowledged as a vital force in American poetry.  From urgent spiritual quest to biting political satire, from elegy to comedy, from celebration of the city street and the world “as a paradise might be / if we had eyes to see,” to the “crack in earth . . . crack in her mind,” from brilliant evocations of art and music to mother-daughter wrestlings, Ostriker’s poetry rings with insistence on beauty and truth. Drawing from six of her previous books, and highlighting a sequence of bold new poems exploring the challenges and absurdities of aging, The Volcano and After is a masterpiece for our time.
 
OLD WOMAN AT THE RIVER
On the bank of the river
I slide inside my sleeping bag
sleep is good if I am not
kept awake by coughing
the sound of the water soothes
time passes and does not pass
when I am better I will sit
and meditate for a while
there may be birds to listen to
then I will step down the bank
and put my naked foot in the water
which will shock at first,
being so cold, so swift.

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