Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lakes of Memory and Burning Nights

The following is an excerpt from a review of Naomi Lowinsky’s adagio & lamentation (Carmel, CA: Il Piccolo editions, Fisher King Press, 2010), which will be forthcoming in the next issue of the Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche (Summer 2012).

In the aesthetics of Lowinsky’s poems, the lamentations become simultaneously softened and sharpened. The Passover angel “passed over our house” and nobody comes to the door, and we understand that it truly is Nobody who comes to the door, fully dressed in nobody’s black mask (12).

At the center of this deep trail of poems stands “adagio and lamentation” (27), a prayer, a covenant with the dead, with the shadows, with the candles borne into the dark woods. The memories are dreams that come alive in the reflections in mother’s great lake, again, in “many shades of blue,” and in the duality that are the legs on which the conscious life stands, “playing two violins at the same time,” simultaneously being an old gypsy and a wild child. This is the mother who is able, at one and the same time, to know that she’d loved him and “were glad to be free of him,” the divorced husband (61–62). The contrasts and the contradictions that touch the senses and deepen the feelings, creating both complexity and unity, color every line of this beautiful work.

Erel Shalit