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The Radiant
Cynthia Huntington

Four Way
2003 • 92 pp. 6 x 9 1/4”

$14.95 Paperback, 978-1-884800-49-8

In Cynthia Huntington's The Radiant, what is most tragic can, and often does, become beautiful. "What/ is memory? Who stays to mourn?/ It seems we feel so much/ and then we die. The marsh hawk/ veers over the grass, listening."

Poems about Multiple Sclerosis and domestic turmoil are never drowned in the rhetoric of complaint, but seized by language that is intense yet seeks the equilibrium of its own level: "His loneliness is cold water. that makes rocks shine. Great stillness/ where he is. Then, slowly, birds."

The poems in The Radiant flow brutally from a scarred heart, from "what grows hard, and cannot be repaired." But in the end these are prayers of thankfulness, prayers that transcend desire: ". . . we belong here, where no one is refused,/ in the room we come to at last--immortal,/ irreparable, beyond hope."

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Reviews / Endorsements

“This is a remarkable book that will reward repeated readings. It is also a book of awful things-sickness and suffering and betrayal”—Susan Mitchell, judge of the Levis Poetry Prize

From the Book:

Cold Rain

Who is that, out in the silky darkness?
What is out there, moving through this cold rain?
Tonight the streets of our ruined city glisten
like an apparition in a black bead dress;
a huge woman lies down along the highway, sighing.
Avapor uncurls and falls asleep in the alley.
The rain spreads its long fingers on the glass
faces of office buildings; the rain's long legs open.
A minute ago I heard the sound of someone running,
clatter of hard shoes on pavement. It almost seemed
I heard the heavy breath of someone running.
Whoever you are, the rain so cold on your skin,
your clothers soaked and clinging, weighing you down.
The rain in your hair. Your white white face.

Author Photo

CYNTHIA HUNTINGTON is the author of The Fish-Wife, We Have Gone to the Beach, and The Salt House (prose). She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Artists Council, and The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Huntington is Professor of English and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:53:16 -0500