LEAVE IT BEHIND expresses the paradoxical wish of every poet, seeking to leave behind-in both senses of that phrase-the language trace of her mind and heart. And what a fine first book Emily Raabe has left behind: vivid and strange, haunted by dreamed animals, alive with the landscapes and losses of her Vermont childhood. Raabe's poetry seeks "something like love/ in that it is the absence/ of distance"-and yet it faces both absence and distance with unflinching imagination, intelligence and grace. -Dan Chiasson, author of WHERE'S THE MOON, THERE'S THE MOONThe poems in Emily Raabe's first collection, LEAVE IT BEHIND, are distinct and imaginative. Often with a surreal edge, they have the intensity and grip of dream imagery and dream narrative: "My best dream/ goes like this: two fields/ cut by a thin line of trees./ In the dream I'm at the line/ when the storm comes in." And so the reader is immediately drawn into the poem with a sense of suspense in which the familiar has a strange and ominous aura. Raabe is able to find her identity in correlations between herself and the outer world as in "Self-Portrait of a House": "If I were a house, I'd be a little/ green house, with peeling paint/ and an Ali Baba stairway/ to my swinging green screen door," and so she invites her reader into a world of innuendo. Her poems possess an engaging freshness, and her debut as a new poet is to be welcomed. -Robert Pack, author of LAUGHTER BEFORE SLEEP.
About the Author
Emily Raabe lives in New York City with her husband, the filmmaker Paul Devlin.