Review: City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver

City of Eternal SpringCity of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014, 96pp/, $15.95

 

City of Eternal Spring confirms what I felt when I first started reading Afaa Michael Weaver’s poems about ten years ago. He is a master poet who is comfortable in his craft at the same time that he takes unusual risks to keep the reader at the edge of his/her emotions and the poem on the edge of the possible. There is, for example, the one-sentence poem, which replicates the way thought moves through the labyrinth of reason and emotion. I am thinking of poems like “What the Lotus Said,” “On Hearing that Michael Jackson Died,” and the truly exceptional “Archeology of Time: Convertibles.”

            That Weaver’s poems range over a great variety of subjects should come as no surprise to devoted readers of his. City of Eternal Spring, which is divided into five parts, follows this trend. The first section, titled “Map of the Heart,” deals with the pain and disconnection that have weighed down the poet. The book’s title poem ends the section with a sense of liberation from that past:

                                    …so I rise
from thought to be, being beyond thought
with energy as breath, a world with eyes
opening inside the light, inside knowing,
inside oneness that appears when the prison
frees me to know I am not it and it is not me.
(“City of Eternal Spring,” 10)

           Read the full review in our Spring 2015 Issue

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