In these rigorously composed, sensually grounded, lyrical poems, the world is distilled with a compelling logic from the poet’s home in New Mexico to a Jewish cemetery in Penang. A shifting vowel signals the end of a marriage; with its proboscis, a butterfly taps out the secret names of God. Like the matryoshka doll of one poem, Moldaw’s poetry reveals selves within selves with a formal intricacy disarming in its ease. “Another Part of the Field,” a long, meditative fugue of six-line poems, uses the I Ching to explore what lies beneath the surface of each day. Here is masterfully evocative poetry of grace, beauty and surprise.
“Several different forms of maturity emotional, artistic, religious come together in Moldaw’s poems, which repeatedly achieve lyric junctures of shivering beauty. Her vision is like that of a seasoned naturalist observing the play of life’s impulses over the crust of the earth.” The New Yorker
“With wit, a sensitive ear, and uncommon formal control, Carol Moldaw braids a line on which one could shinny straight back to Elizabeth Bishop.” Eric McHenry, Bostonia
“Carol Moldaw’s poems unite tact, delicacy, keenness of sight, and daring. A butterfly, its thorax, legs, eyes, and circumflex-marked wings minutely studied, alights on the poet’s hand and there taps out a secret code/ the secret names of God. That is the scope of this remarkable and elegant volume, in which carafe rhymes with cenotaph, and the modest objects and acts of daily life glow, along with tragic facts, in the blessing of the poet’s attention. Moldaw has a sure hand, a light touch, a subtle ear, and a strong and compassionate heart.” Rosanna Warren
“With their easy openness and Zen-flavored physicality, the poems of Chalkmarks on Stone announce a talent that readers should remember.” Blake de Pastino, Weekly Alibi
Read “Beads of Rain“ at The New Yorker website.