The Burning Boat
Praise for The Burning Boat:
Still life with woman. Or woman with still life.
Or still woman with life.
These lines begin to suggest the subtle push-pull of energies that inform and then shape each of the poems in this collection to prism, to prayer, to faceted stone that quietly yields light. Perhaps, as Pennisi’s poems suggest, a woman comes of age again and again—through memory, motherhood, the expansion of that hidden life as the world offers her artifacts of nature and art to mull over and reshape into insights uniquely her own. —Leslie Ullman, author of The You That All Along Has Housed You
“Ballerinas do not lose control; they shape grief,” begins one of the many stunning poems in Linda Pennisi’s The Burning Boat, “What do you think the positions are for?” How well these poems know that, gracefully stretching memory into shape after evocative shape: into a house that “cannot stop thinking…of the Jesuses it held / on its walls,” into “angels rearranging / the sky around their wings,” into ghosts “as dense as ultrasound shadow…as ethereal as fetal dreams.” Pennisi’s sense of metaphor—sometimes subtle, sometimes startling—never disappoints. “Your words, once spoken, forge a path for you” claims one poem. The Burning Boat forges many such paths, all worth walking again and again. —Philip Memmer, author of Cairns and Pantheon
“How many windows can the heart bear?” asks Linda Tomol Pennisi in The Burning Boat, and how many nesting selves does today's self carry? Observant, lyrical, prayerful, here is a poet who knows that beauty and grief swim the same waters. I am grateful for this exquisite and deeply felt collection.—Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of Foxlogic, Fireweed