Kent's Reviews > The Return Message: Poems

The Return Message by Tessa Rumsey
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's review
Nov 23, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary-poetry, poetry-2000s
Read in August, 2009

Why does Jorie Graham have to be the only person choosing Rumsey's work? I think she has an incredibly lush voice, and in this book, that voice takes on the contradictory nature that makes people interested in fate, or origin, or identity. People want an end point, whether it's beginning or ending, to which they can attach their lives, and yet that life is going to continue regardless of whether they establish that end point or not. This idea gets introduced in one of the epigraphs to the book. But I think it gets played out in subtle ways when trying to relate the poem on the verso side of the page spread with the poem on the recto. And then in more concrete ways with the content of the poems themselves. Consider what would make Audubon kill the birds he loved so much, so that he could accurately draw them.
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