This Close to the Earth
(University of Arkansas Press, 1992)
Moving through the cycle of birth, growth, and death, the poems of Enid Shomer are informed by physical knowledge, transforming it into rare and often startling insight. This Close to the Earth celebrates the courage to live intensely in the body. Here are loves, lives, and losses, retold with the energy that bare emotion commands. Peopled by almost touchable characters - John James Audubon, for instance sketching his birds in a pre-dawn light, and the unnamed narrator of "Among the Cows," who learns to "breathe with the Holsteins / as a form of meditation" - these poems explore the natural as well as the human landscape in search of the link between knowledge and the physical self. This Close to the Earth plumbs the deepest of human mysteries - the hunger for union with the people and things of this world.
"Enid Shomer writes tautly elegant, passionate lyrics. The exactitudes of forms that other poets often find daunting elicit from her seemingly effortless yet remarkable images. This is a book full of feeling that marries art to craft."
"Each of these poems has truths that are shocked into language and shine with the new brightness of their minting. This is a strong, serious book by a writer who has mastered her art."
"Enid Shomer's is a poetry of image and metaphor, and especially of startling leaps of association that are rooted in metaphor."
"One of the great joys of my last few years has been discovering the poetry of Enid Shomer. It is beautifully wrought, powerful, and terribly true. The sensual light of her humanity is dazzling, and the Pope Joan poems take my breath away."