Divine Honors

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Divine Honors

Poems

Hilda Raz

120 pages

Paperback

April 2021

978-1-4962-2815-4

$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

This elegant and moving collection documents Hilda Raz’s experience with breast cancer. The journey, from diagnosis to chemotherapy to mastectomy, from denial to humor to grief and rage, is ultimately one of courage and creativity. The poems themselves are accessible and finely wrought. They are equally testaments to Raz's insistence on making an order out of chaos, of finding ways to create and understand and eventually accept new definitions of good and evil, health, blame, and personal boundaries—in short, a new sense of self. These poems remain intimately bound to the world and of the senses, becoming documents of transformation.
 

Author Bio

Hilda Raz is a former editor of Prairie Schooner and is the founding director of the Prairie Schooner Book Prizes. She was named the first Luschei Professor and Editor in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Raz is editor of the Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series at the University of New Mexico Press and the poetry editor for ABQ (in)Print and Bosque Press. She is the author or editor of fourteen books, including her most recent book, Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been: New and Collected Poems, 1986–2020, as well as All Odd and Splendid, Trans, What Happens, and What Becomes You (with Aaron Raz Link), all available from the University of Nebraska Press.

Praise

“Transgressive and transcendent, Hilda Raz’s . . . poems are intimately involved with the physical, corporeal world, and constantly making the leap of faith necessary to its reembodiment in words. These poems push the boundaries of what language can do to enunciate perception. Their beauty, their clarity, their mystery equally compel.”—Marilyn Hacker

“In Divine Honors we’re in for a head-on collision with grief, the inescapable fact of cancer. Raz conveys joy and hope and love of others and of the natural world turned into poetry, after that horrible discovery and ordeal. The best of the poems are breathtaking—the sensuous imagery, the sounds she repeats for the pleasure of reading, and the surprising juxtaposition of images. I love this book of poems—grief and longing turned into poetry.”—Walter McDonald

 

Divine Honors is a rare book, one that does honor to its subject and transcends it at the same time. An unflinching account of the cost and the effects of breast cancer, Divine Honors illuminates much more about a women’s life that has, mysteriously, remained shadowy in so many other accounts of women’s lives. Few books change your way of viewing the world. This one does.”—Susan Fromberg Schaffer
 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Repair
Narrative Without People
Let's consider the consequences
Isaac Stern's Performance

I

I Hear the Name of the Moon and Am Afraid
Weathering/boundaries/what is good
To Explain
Mu
Coming Down with Something
Fish--Belly--Mound
"Two Are Better Than One"
Getting Well
For Barbara, Who Brings a Green Stone in the Shape of a Triangle
Day-Old Bargain
Breast/fever

II

Sarah's Response
Sarah Among Animals
Sarah's Head
Sarah Fledging
Sarah's Waltz
Balance
Order
Axe-earrings, abalone shell
Birth

III

Opening/Working/Walking
Hey You
Grieving, she hits the red fox
Mapping/Bleating
Trope
Sow Sister
Bernini's Ribbon
Petting the Scar
Teaching, Hurt
Riddle

IV

Chigger Socks
Daylight Savings: Sandy Creek, Nebraska
Cobb's Hill Pond
Fuss
Zen: the one I love most holds my tongue
Camarada
From Your Mouth to God's Ear
"We don't deserve what we get"
G: But it's still not all right with you?
Mutation Blues
Insomnia Again
Service

V

Hot
Dying
Terror: A Riddle
Nuts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Letter of Transmittal
Now
Who Does She Think She Is
Earlier
Vowels

Epilogue

Gloxinia/Flicker/Oxalis
Recovery
My Award/The Jew of Lukow
Ecstasies

Acknowledgments
 

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