What Lasts is the Breath, poetry book
Janet Eigner’s What Lasts is the Breath charts a decade of a mother’s grief at the loss of a beloved adult daughter. Like a kind of Demeter doggedly searching through “the long, miserable journey of days” Eigner looks everywhere for what lasts: in nature, in memory, in love and family, in the clay objects her daughter sculpted, in a grandson’s face, in encounters with others who teach her a different way of carrying grief, like Lavina, a Hopi friend, who says “the body is like a corn stalk/What lasts in the breath.” The poems are particularly vivid in the lives and sensibilities evoked, and, just as the poems voice many difficult realities, including historical and political events, they also do not shirk from the many struggles of human feeling that follow such a loss. What returns is not the ever-mourned Persephone but a hard-won instruction for the living, that in our “gathering, preserving together” those who are left can again “taste the sweet/through the rough, bitter seed.” Rebecca Seiferle, Tucson Poet Laureate, award-winning Copper Canyon Press poet, publisher of online, international
zine, The Drunken Boat.
Cover art by Steven E. Counsell
Soft Cover, Glue bound
Size: 5″ by 8.5″