The Ninety-Third Name of God
- Davis, Cortney
- Date of entry: Jul-25-2019
- Last revised: Jul-25-2019
There are 46 poems in this volume (the author's first full-length collection), divided into three parts--the poems in the second section are in memory of women who have died of inflammatory breast cancer, the same disease that claimed the life of the author in August, 2018, when she was forty-nine-years old. Diagnosed in 2004 during her pregnancy, Anya waited until after her son Noah was born to begin cancer treatment. These poems, published in 2010, begin in images of her domestic life and her family, move forward to her cancer diagnosis (p. 17: "Biopsy"), and progress to examine, in poems that balance beauty and pain, what it is like to live with the knowledge of early death. This awareness imparts a crystalline honesty and urgency to every poem.
This poetry collection is the first in a series of four books by Anya Silver--each volume continues to track her life through cancer treatment, remission, recurrence, and the anticipation of death. While the poems can be difficult, as the subject matter is too often a reality for many of us readers, they are poems of hope and strength, poems that are truly gifts sent to us from the way stations of her difficult journey. Any darker poems are balanced by poems of love, faith, and the author's ability to live in the moment with her uniquely honed imagination and what seems to be a special insight granted her as she moves farther from health into illness. William Wordsworth wrote "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recalled in tranquility." There seems to be an implied "nevertheless" in this sentence: ". . . nevertheless it takes its origin from emotion recalled in tranquility." The poems of Anya Krugovoy Silver seem to emerge both from immediate emotion and from immediate and abiding tranquility, perhaps only accessible to someone who both suffers and embraces life.
Anya Krugovoy Silver's fourth collection, Second Bloom, is annotated here.
Louisiana State University Press