Exquisite reach, this sweet sonneter high in our ear. The poems rise even when the “the phone calls you back”. These six suites are a stunning gambol withal; what pleasure in Riggs’s readerly intelligence, her rock-solid pleasure in the possibilities, always, and ambitions of the poem. Demeter and her daughter dwell in the precarious interstices of life and death here, love drives the line as the pomegranate seeds sprout inside a foundational ageless image travelling in our psyches. Think: Babylon, Exodus, Homer, Shakespeare: good company for any bard. Sheer magic.
These under- and above-ground journeys inhabit and enliven that rich mystery shuttling between the self and beloved, the world and all its myths. It is a place & we live here,/under the grass, over the earth. Chthonic lyrics pulled up with the roots intact, hard, sweet, and sustaining.
“All is touching nothing is not touching” writes Sarah Riggs in her new collection, Pomme & Granite, and the Steinian phrasing could very well double as a heraldic motto for this writer’s exquisite sensibility. Riggs’ work is so profoundly touching—in both the affective and haptic senses of the word—because it refuses to disown the embattled yet inescapable poetics of feeling in our time. “I’m at the early middle of something // that may well grow bigger than me,” she writes, and only such intimacy of voice could allow “something” to blossom into a pregnancy, a book of poetry, and a phase in the history of subjectivity all at once. Read this book, and you will feel again that inwardness is our one true guide: “All the instructions are inside.”
-Srikanth Chicu Reddy
Read more from Sarah Riggs at sarahriggs.org