Circadian

 

Reviews

“In this, Joanna Klink’s remarkable second book, the meditative sounding of the human pang, its need for intimate connection and its contrary need for the clarities of solitude, reminds us that precision is a cutting edge that creates dazzle. With a Dickinsonian desire for a meeting of minds and a reverence for the natural world that is tried by an awareness of mortality and ecological peril, these poems remain alert to the reparations of beauty and song, formally elegant, urgent, and moving.”—Dean Young

“Joanna Klink has the audacity to write about the happiness of the ordinary in the language of the ecstatic. Her intensity makes the world visible.”—Linda Gregg

“As if her very breathing were integral to landscape, Joanna Klink surrenders utterance and feeling in a place where snow sifts for hours toward the earthline, where mineral winter makes a dull / math of cold inside the bones. Read these radiant poems as notes from a wilderness where human destiny pulses in time with vast circadians at the edge of consciousness, where silence has the eloquence of stars behind the snow / burning in ancient immanence over the field. Here is the real world, the poet insists: the holding in / of all these breaking things.”—Honor Moore

“Klink writes love poems to nature…This is beautiful writing, and it’s also very American. Walt Whitman might find something to envy in the way Klink’s more gentle sense of song…tumbles out of simple, individual acts of attention.”—Chicago Tribune

“Eliot’s Four Quartets comes to mind, but I think Circadian bears a closer kinship with Rilke’s Duino Elegies via its gorgeous, anguished calls toward the space beyond language, or before it.”—Rain Taxi

“[Circadian] urges readers into the responsibility of attention while also warning us that once we open our eyes, we are no longer able to choose the depth in which we will be engaged; the light simply fills them, and we are forced to abandon any measure of how much pain we might witness.”—American Book Review

“These things are the terrible facts of our relationship to the natural world today, and there is, of course, no going back. Still, Klink tells us there is an avenue into the liminal space between essence and image, between our bodies and our emotional connection to the people and world around us. She tells us that there is nevertheless hope. I, for one, believe her.”—New Orleans Review

“We are drawn to these poems because they occupy the present and emulate stillness. Paradoxically, it is the inability to maintain that relationship with the present that is the hallmark of their beauty.”—Colorado Review

“Klink’s poems are almost devoid of people, and those few who do appear are solitary and distant (even the watermen of ‘Studies for an Estuary’ seem a single entity, moving across the water, their bodies ‘a great space on which an ocean is growing’). But there is the constant presence of a ‘you,’ an addressee who is at once beloved—a friend, a companion—and something more remote, an idea or ideal, a traveler…who is also a spiritual guide, though one who sometimes goes astray and needs guidance. This ‘you’ shifts and wavers, like light or fog or falling snow…Klink is less stylistically indebted to Ashbery, but both [Geoffrey O’Brien and Joanna Klink] share in his depersonalization of the speaking voice. This makes the voice a thing among other things, and animates those objects into which it disperses, transforming them into subjects in both senses of the word...The last thing Stevens demanded of his supreme fiction was that ‘It Must Give Pleasure.’ Both of these books fulfill that condition abundantly."—Boston Review

“The enveloping sounds, the quality of light: something passes through us, a ‘premonition / of drift-design.’ Klink unabashedly can say ‘ancient immanence’ and ‘blackness of our lives’ and ‘a sense of peace so deep’ without sounding at all precious. Although she maps out an agenda for us among her landscapes, Klink is utterly loyal to the freedom she would have us enjoy…This is one of those rare instances when I have to agree with the blurber’s use of superlatives. Joanna Klink’s Circadian is remarkable.”—RonSlate.com

“Joanna Klink’s hauntingly stark…luminous second collection, Circadian, urges us to enter or perhaps re-enter a world of patterns grounded in the intrinsic and awakening pulses of circadian rhythms…In a time of increasing ecological concern, political uncertainty, and growing irony and sarcasm, Circadian, is a timely collection—one that calls us forward to enliven our senses of internal and external landscapes while providing us with a deep reservoir of hope.”—Indiana Review