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A powerful collection of poems about grief and renewal by an astonishing and formidable young poet.
The incandescent poems in Once explore violence, loss, and recovery. Invoking both the personal and the civic self, they chart uncertain new beginnings in a shattered nation. What emerges is both a poignant meditation on a daughter's relationship with her mother and a citizen's relationship to her country.
. . . At times,
I felt sick, intoxicated
by BPA and mercury.
At other times I fasted and the stars
stumbled clear from the vault.
Up there, the universe stands around drunk.
I hope the Lord is kind to us,
for we engrave our every mistake . . .
About the Author
Meghan O'Rourke is the author of the collections Sun in Days, Halflife, and Once, as well as a memoir, The Long Goodbye. A former editor at The New Yorker, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate, poetry editor for the Paris Review, and is currently the editor of The Yale Review. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, the New Republic, and Poetry, among others. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and other awards, she lives in Brooklyn.