the dear remote nearness of you
The Dear Remote Nearness of You will both move your heart and rattle you to the core. These lyrical, poignant, and powerful poems show Danielle Legros Georges’ deep intellect and profound empathy, as well as her endless gifts as a poet, storyteller, and brilliant oracle of the human spirit.
The Dear Remote Nearness of You speaks poetry’s origin in new and startling ways. This is the precise intelligence that knows it must step carefully across the light on the surface of the water… These poems form the contiguous dance of language choosing its own body at will, traveling across light and the dimensions of unarticulated history. This is the word rubbed onto the palimpsest of our being, the careful solo soprano in the space where music ends and poetry moves in to name what is eternal and what is only in the abbreviation of now. What a delightful book…
Sublime, by which I mean these poems present a world not merely beautiful, but so charged with life as to induce wonder. Desire, in all her manifestations (spells, curses, jealousy, want), runs through these pages.
How to chart the landscape of desire? A pencil is a good start, a draft, a poem. But soon you’ll be dipping a pen in blood, your own blood, and the blood of your ancestors and your enemies. You’ll have crossed the border and entered the landscape. You’ll need something stronger than poems. You will need to make spells. Danielle Legros Georges possesses the disciplines of a poet-warrior—spell, chant, ritual, theatre, incantation, painting, scholarship—to lead us through the landscape and catalogue the complicated geography of person, country. . . and history, where we make home and how we find love, the consequences of colonialism, war, and race, the desire to make sense, and the necessity of beauty in our lives.
Danielle Legros Georges gives us access to worlds that are both submerged and emerging. Whether her poems’ speakers contemplate centenarian eels, or seek to shift the rubble left by Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, The Dear Remote Nearness of You takes careful account of the cost of survival. The atmospheric quality of these poems is dense with attention to the sounds of an inhabitable life: the shock of a shouted racial slur, the high-pitched screech of children, the very sound of the earth splitting. The unsettling intimacies Georges reveals encompass our human relationships with animals, alongside our human understanding of ourselves. Haiti’s own mirrored conversations with itself, through generations of privation and exquisite natural beauty, are the centrepiece of this book’s success.
The Dear Remote Nearness of You reminds us that the poet is a keen observer, a benevolent panoptical being, standing at the crossroads of language and culture with all of her senses open. Georges’s astute panoptical gaze allows us to be in her world, albeit through a remote nearness of her.
Letters from Congo: A Chapbook
In these 13 intimate and epistolary poems, an address, or a physical location where someone can be reached, swiftly morphs into a statement about the delicate nature of voicing one’s political opinions under Haiti's Duvalier regime. In crafting these necessary poems, Legros Georges compels the reader to abandon notions of romantic and glamorous life in exile, offering instead openings onto the endemic challenges of a family’s confrontations and negotiations of a separation that has no expiration date.