The Carrying: Poems

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Ada Limon’s most recent collection of poems, The Carrying, deserves to be on the shelf of every single person who claims to love words. What is carried through these poems is family, the beginnings and endings of life, the plants we grow and hope will outlast us, and the knowledge that everything is temporary. In short, this is a book about the miracle and tragedy of being human.

Dandelions and birds and trees riddle these poems as reminders that the world is living and breathing and growing around us, and it is our job to witness it. In “Late Summer After a Panic Attack,” Limon asks, “What if I want to go devil instead?,” suggesting there are base desires of chaos that we are expected to ignore at best and actively push down at worst. But she comes to the understanding, in “Instructions on Not Giving Up,” that everything the world offers is worth holding.

Reading these poems is like a meditation on staying centered. As I read them, I found myself nostalgic for childhood on one page and intoxicated by the scent of tomato vines on the next. Still others made me ache for my parents, who are still alive but will, of course, one day not be. The Carrying is not for the faint of heart, but that is what makes it all the more necessary.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 120 pages
Publisher Milkweed Editions
Publish Date 13-Apr-2021
ISBN 9781571315137 Buy this Book
Issue July 2021
Category Poetry & Short Stories