The Carrying


Paperback, 120 pages

Published April 13, 2021 by Milkweed Editions.

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4 stars (1 review)

"Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility--"What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?"--and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: "Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal." And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. "Fine then, / I'll take it," she writes. "I'll take it all." In Bright Dead Things, Limón showed us a heart "giant with power, heavy with blood"--"the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it's going to come in first." In her follow-up collection, that heart is on full …

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Review of 'The carrying' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

My favorite poem in the book was "Dandelion Insomnia." I appreciate it when she observes something in nature and then relates it back to herself and the human experience, suggesting that there are things we can learn (from the dandelion, for example) about how to approach life. I also particularly liked several of the poems toward the end of the book, dealing with grief/people slipping away (two of these were "Losing" and "The Last Drop"). I enjoyed all of the references to birds, trees, and gardening. It occurred to me that there isn't much humor in the book, which is probably not surprising considering that it focuses a lot on painful experiences, both physical and emotional.