How can one reconcile the irreconcilable? In this masterful companion to Day Unto Day, Martha Collins finds common ground between contradictions—beauty and horror, joy and mortality, the personal and the political.
Like its predecessor, the daybook of Night Unto Night begins with time. Its six sequences, each written in one month a year, over the course of six years, bring together the natural and the all-too-human. Red-winged blackbirds and the death of a friend. The green leaves of a maple tree and drones overseas. A February spent in Italy and the persistence of anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Dissonance is a permanent state, Collins suggests, something to be occupied rather than solved. And so this collection approaches its transcendence in the space between these seeming contrasts—and in the space between stanzas, sequences, days, and months. These poems are powerfully alive, speaking to and revising each other, borrowing a word or a line before turning it on end. We are doomed to repeat mistakes, seasons, wars, words. Yet redemption beckons, too, in the persistence of empathy and love.