The Transit of Venus
Backwaters Press, 2016
Buy a copy
These poems are bright with the light of both loss and love and marvelously attentive to the offerings of the world, noticing both 'the insistent sounds of pears through plate glass' and a 'Burger King crown/blowing down the empty early/morning's snowy street.'
Susan Firer's marvelous The Transit of Venus is the record of a mind that's never still, an amalgam of dazzling connections and allusions, recorded with astonishing authority and poise. The poems range from the playful to the powerfully sustained, culminating in a long meditation on Caravaggio, 'Brother Michangelo,' but they're all bound together by and suffused with a vividly present personality. It's her richest and most accomplished book, which says it all.
In spite of grief, this book is full of feast days, including Eid in Istanbul and a rapturous and clear-eyed poem about Caravaggio, and again and again night and day the lake.