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What Once Burst with Brilliance (Paperback)
The poems in Robert Lee Kendrick's first full-length collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance, explore their narrators' paths through loss -- unborn children, broken relationships, unfulfilled dreams. They seek healing through encounters with nature -- watching catfish, finding boar tracks, seeing the play of light on winter leaves -- and manual work -- from hanging drywall, to cooking a meal, to restoring a motorcycle. The book is divided in three sections. In the first section, narrative is the dominant mode as the personas reflect on their difficulties and joys of living in their rural, small towns. The second section shifts to a more lyrical tone, as the speakers move into nature to encounter its protean indifference to their freighted lives. The third section deals with human issues intertwining with natural wonder and explores the nearly limitless potential that exists between the two. Although the personas speak from their senses of dislocation and grief, the poems are, in the end, stubbornly life-affirming, like the narrators themselves.
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