by Thomas Gardner
Tupelo Press, 2020
Paper: 978-1-946482-35-8
Library of Congress Classification PS3557.A71464S86 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

Continuing the work begun in 2014’s Poverty Creek Journal, the lyric essays in Thomas Gardner’s Sundays focus on moments in our ordinary lives when something within us breaks and we are cast out to wander and sing, “feeling [our] way toward something [in the invisible] that will press back.” “Deep within us is a river, under it all, where everything comes undone,” Gardner writes, and over a year’s-worth of Sundays, in an improvisatory prose that “holds its breath at its [own] undoing,” he takes us there, urging us each to find that same space opening within. Twenty turkeys in the backyard, a walk with friends from overseas to a plunging waterfall, moments in the dark when flashes across the eye become a boat in rising wind tugging against its mooring—these lyric pieces, much like the sentences from Marilynne Robinson’s novel Housekeeping Gardner discovers one morning pasted on the doors and windows and staircases of the building he works in, offer us pieces of the ordinary set apart, “tiny squares of print, unfixed from narrative,” so carefully tied together under the surface that the everyday world, like Gardner’s building, seems everywhere “ringed and veined with thought.”

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