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Herizons Summer 2013
Reviewed by Marianne Mays Wiebe

“Another outstanding offering is Flying Underwater by Eva Tihanyi, a collection of the poet’s work from previous books along with some new poems. Tihanyi’s poetry is often wise, with lines you want to read aloud in order to savour both their wisdom and their beauty. Her keen eye (she also practices photography) is attuned to the dance of desire, vulnerability and need in relationships. The poems in the section taken from her 1995 book, Saved by the Telling, are particularly satisfying, several of them broaching art and its significance for our daily lives and for making meaning, and shape, of them. One dazzling poem is from the perspective of Picasso’s mistress—an artist in her own right—Dora Marr, who reappears in the new poems. The poem “Picasso Meets Dora Marr at Les Deux Magots” is impossible to quote in part. It is followed by another stunning poem about an artist, this one about Sylvia Plath, called “Breakthrough.” In the section from Wrestling the Grace of the World (2005), the poem “My Heart Hears You Dreaming” is so devastatingly unguarded, gorgeous and still that it reads like an ancient lyric: “Years pass but I do find you;/ your open self is still my fate,/ such joy your mouth is speaking.” It ends with these lines: “Yet despite the journey I have made,/ the music weakens,/ the distance is not receding.// And within the silence that is love,/ my heart hears you leaving.” Recognizable truths leap up everywhere in Tihanyi’s poetry, and words from a poem titled “Inventing the future” could easily describe the collection: “I have been lashed by grace. This is/ a new way of being in the world.” The lines are introduced by ones that situate that “way of being” in time and space: “What doesn’t break us binds us.// March again. The earth softens/ as spring lays its green foundations./ Never the same spring twice,/ never the same March.” “The End of Something,” in the same section of poems from The Key of Red (2010), is the final remarkable poem I will mention, one thst again seems to speak from the depths of perception to the universal, conveying this insight: “Poetry is the language of believing in language./ What we look at deeply, enters us.”