How Heavy the Breath of God
vol. 5: Texas Poets Series
About St. Germain's How Heavy the Breath of God
Looking for Grace in Ecuador
I am looking for the archangels
of my childhood, their pink
fleshy wings like candy,
the nimbuses of saints, gold as pollen,
the holy mothers of children,
the carpenter fathers,
I am looking into the soupy
eyes of dirty children,
god strapped to their backs,
I am looking for the grace
to wash sight away.
“This disturbing, erotic, and unforgettable book should bring wider attention to St. Germain’s work.” —Bloomsbury Review
“St. Germain personalizes nature, and her relationship to it, in the way that Adrienne Rich has encouraged us to do. She refuses patriarchal objectifying, fetishizing, or romanticizing in favor of a primarily non-anthropomorphic embodiment… where humans, in body and spirit, are recognized as part of nature.” —Spoon River Poetry Review
These poems celebrate and consecrate the physical world, moving from exotic to familiar locations, from the jungles of Ecuador and Mayan ruins in Central America to the rural lands and flooding creeks of Texas.
“I do not think I have ever encountered a poet less self-consciously or more powerfully female. St. Germain does not try to intellectualize or abstract her gender; neither does she try to escape from it.” —Burton Raffel, The Literary Review
“St. Germain’s fiery, sensuous, harrowing poems of longing and grief burn with knowledge… I admire her relentless determination to witness and understand… her searing discoveries, and, above all, her emotional courage.” —Edward Hirsch
About the Author
SHERYL ST. GERMAIN, originally from New Orleans, is poet-in-residence at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Her previous books include Going Home, The Mask of Medusa, Making Bread at Midnight, and How Heavy the Breath of God.
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