Blue Hour


SKU: 9780060099138


Blue Hour is an elusive book, because it is ever in pursuit of what the German poet Novalis called ‘the [lost] presence beyond appearance.’ The longest poem, ‘On Earth,’ is a transcription of mind passing from life into death, in the form of an abecedary, modeled on ancient gnostic hymns. Other poems in the book, especially ‘Nocturne’ and ‘Blue Hour,’ are lyric recoveries of the act of remembering, though the objects of memory seem to us vivid and irretrievable, the rage to summon and cling at once fierce and distracted.

“The voice we hear in Blue Hour is a voice both very young and very old. It belongs to someone who has seen everything and who strives imperfectly, desperately, to be equal to what she has seen. The hunger to know is matched here by a desire to be new, totally without cynicism, open to the shocks of experience as if perpetually for the first time, though unillusioned, wise beyond any possible taint of a false or assumed innocence.”

— Robert Boyers

“Forché, already a master of imagery, creates here a masterwork for the 21st century.” “Again Carolyn Forche hovers above the lacerated landscape of history filling the holes ‘between saying and said.’ BLUE HOUR does not console but emboldens. The fear we share is never dodged. This singular voice is writ in bone, snow, coal, stone and sorrow.” “And now comes a stunning new work by Carolyn Forche, my hero, because not only does she write beautifully, she has fierce moral principles.” “To read these poems is an experience as calmly and restfully beautiful as looking at a group of related impressionist canvases, like those of Monet. Especially memorable for me are poems like ‘Refuge’ and above all, the long poem ‘On Earth’” “The long poem ‘On Earth’ immediately draws the reader’s attention–it’s such a mysterious catalogue of all the things we know and don’t know: an uncanny mixture of peace, beauty and cruelty. If you ask ‘which country is it?’ the answer is ‘this country is called earth.” “Unflinching witness and eloquent mourner.” “An eerily beautiful, bruised and persuasive book.” “BLUE HOUR blends domestic tenderness with philosophical reverie … It is full of tiny startling detail … celebrating the freedom of imagination and memory.” “A ferocious remembering in the face of death, in the face of life.” “Resplendent and solemn … takes readers to similar state of limbo, someplace between the conscious and the intuited.” “Like the scatter from a fireworks explosion, Forché‘s images float on the currents of the reader’s memory.” “Dense, lyrical, mysterious … a poetic journey no reader should miss.” ” [An] austerely beautiful gathering of elegiac meditations … Forché [is] a writer exquisitely attuned to the tenderness and awe, violence and grief inherent in human life.”

Additional information

Weight 5 oz
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 in