Everything, now by Jessica Moore
Reviewed by Shannon Webb-Campbell (Telegraph-Journal, August 18, 2012 )
Poet and translator Jessica Moore is transfixed by what it means to love, to lose. How we translate heart, body and soul. Her poetic meditation on grief charts life’s most difficult journey. Moore knows life is fragile, fleeting and, in moments, untranslatable.
Language is paradox, both visceral and intellectual. Everything, now, begins with a memory,“a strange bird / doling out the world,” where Moore declares herself “conjurer.”
Cloaked in loss, Everything, now is simultaneously enveloped in sadness and fragments of wonder. The collection documents the ineffable connection between two souls. With a profound spiritualism, Moore poetically questions and accepts life’s merciless rhythms.
Via old photographs, letters and poems, Moore pays testament to Galen, her suddenly deceased lover. Moore finds a kinship in Jean-François Beauchemin. In 2008, she was awarded the PEN Translation Award for translating Beauchemin’s Turkana Boy. Moore quotes Beauchemin: “Was the soul, then, a sky tangled in every person?”
Once Galen described himself as falling up “into the wide open blue.” She responds now, with echoes of Beauchemin, in poetic form: “Here is what I believe: / we need to leave a wider space for notions like love, or the soul. / Call them skies, then.”
It is within the sky, the wider space, Moore finds the soul of Galen. Through language, and the expansive dance of poetics, she regains her self, and honours their love. This is poetry at its most primal, spiritual and souled. Everything, now is just this. Everything. Now.s
Shannon Webb-Campbell for the Telegraph-Journal