Praise for HOW WE MET
How to speak of a style so fresh, so quietly exhilarating, such delicacy, such buoyancy of spirit, so dazzling in metaphor (“when I met her I was a housesitter in my own body,” “when we talked, words leaped out of my mouth / like an animal released into the wild … “)-such pellucid insight into the enthrallment and failures of intimacy. Schireson’s is a style so adept with wit and invention, it defies gravity, and yet follows the transit of Venus: “the long line we bent/ into a circle / to stand in / together.”
~ Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems
Peter Schireson’s How We Met is an enthralling and uncompromising meditation on love. Wrought through imagery as precise as it is potent, these poems transport the reader deep into the flawed human yearnings of falling in, out of, and through love. I exited this book different than I entered, as though the poems had woven their wisdom and experience into me through the reading. Perhaps the greatest gift of this masterful collection though is its ability to create a language for the kinds of joys and griefs love yields that seem uncapturable in words. And yet, Schireson does it deftly through language that is somehow self-deprecating and wise, hilarious and heartbreaking, assured but always searching, razor-specific and, ultimately, universally resonant. I’m awed by this book.
~ Carlos Andres Gomez, author of Fractures
These spare and precise poems record a speaker’s encounter with, and loss of, a luminous Beloved who is “part pitbull / and part pitbull,” a Beloved so powerful she “quotes the sky directly.” The light of her presence suffuses the everyday, the black hole of her absence pulls his world over an event horizon, “her gravity so strong / I can’t escape it.” Like a Zen calligrapher (with a sense of humor), Schireson–with brushstrokes that appear deceptively simple and effortless-limns this baffling, transformational, and searingly recognizable encounter with love.
~ Elizabeth T. Gray, author of Salient