In The Nocturnal Animal House by Sarah Cotterill
|Title||In the Nocturnal Animal House|
|Publisher||Purdue University Press|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
Sarah Cotterill's poems bring together the dramas of ordinary life and a complex understanding of the natural world. The poems are moments of suspension: early bridges braided of things found on the ground, in the wild. They are meant for travel on foot and in solitude. When we trust our weight to one, the whole of the bridge shifts, though the lines and their connections remain firm; and the bridge shifts again with each step. Its symmetry changes, our perspective changes. We are exposed, reminded of the delicacy of its materials, and of their strength, tensile strength. On ever side looms the world's great beauty and also its peril, the long drop. The flexibility of a web accounts for much of its strength and resiliency. So, too, are these poems shaped by a lyric, flexible, resilient language, a range and variability of image, form, and tone. But always they are tied to the poet's experience, the great and small events of a private life at once lived and observed. These poems never stray far from awareness of the strangeness, elegance, and peril of the natural world, or of humankind's place therein. They never stray far either from a sense of the fragility of human ties, their infinite worth, the care which must be taken to sustain them, the costs of inattention. These poems are moments of suspension. They begin on ground we know. When we step away from the far close of their span, we find ourselves in a new place. Lucky for the bridge being there. Grateful.