Sherry has published two books, several chapbooks, and has poems included in many journals and anthologies. Her second book, Under World, is out now from Outriders Poetry Project. Order from Outriders, from Talking Leaves Book Store, from your own neighborhood independent bookstore, or from Amazon!
OUTRIDERS POETRY PROJECT
Outriders Poetry Project
Max Wickert, Director
314 Highland Avenue, Buffalo, N.Y. 14222
First published July 1, 2020 by Outriders Poetry Project
Copyright 2020 by Sherry Robbins. All rights reserved.
or, The Whale
If Sherry Robbins’ poems, lean and fierce, are compelled by her courage, then they are propelled by her sly curiosity. Robbins’ voice is delicate in its top notes, but she uses a wilder, more basic sound, too, that can be sensed as emanating from a being “red in tooth and claw.” Her newest collection of poems is delightful and dangerous.
“No more disembodied songs” The Sermon. The poet Sherry Robbins does not use words to embellish, escape, translate or alchemize this life, this world, the mind, the body. And so she is unlike other poets. A mouth, like an eye, in the shape of an O: Full dilation, brave, unblinking. Each of the poems could be the last poem in the book and it would be right. No disembodied songs here; she gives the blooded gods their voice.
— Nura Yingling
“We’ll sail/widdershins/and keep the cauldron/hot. Blubber/and apple chowder,/a mother-daughter banquet.” So, in the title poem, Sherry Robbins focuses her rendering of Moby-Dick. Her female Ishmael moves counter to Melville’s as she voyages deeply: “We know almost everything/worth knowing, /for the womb/is our Yale College and our Harvard.” Facing squarely her deepest fears, Robbins probes the inland sea of her body and of her city, builds upon the mother-daughter bond, and forces life’s boundaries out. Although “Where I am/this moment/is the mystery,” she accepts that state and, contemplating Pip’s fate, offers bold advice: “Leap from the boat.” Contrary to Ahab, “That inscrutable thing/is chiefly what I love.”
At once a tribute to Melville and a vision of woman in our world, this sublime book, or, The Whale, gives birth to Robbins’s grand hooded phantom and—although she remains always, as she begins, “all at sea”—finds a way “in this golden light,/content to be.”
“Into this first and oldest cradle / I invite you, reader.” from “The Fossil Whale” by Sherry Robbins. “me in in in / in the boat / of my body” from “The Chase – First Day” by Sherry Robbins. This is her book of poetry. I read her returning to this poetry. Sherry Robbins, ubiquitous saillore at voyage in the allegorical myth of and in her life, explores her journey, the wovenings of woman currents, root drinker and her map of heaven. She is her life of adored poetry and summoning her poetry is here a balance of all the corners. She discovers that water is where Sherry Robbins stands upon or, The Whale.
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