“Without a Claim is a modern Book of Psalms. Indeed, the glory in these radiant sacred songs meld an art of high music with a nuanced love of the world unlike any we’ve heard before. No matter your mood upon entering this world you’ll soon be grateful, and enchanted. In any such house of praise, God herself must be grateful.” — Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Failure and The God of Loneliness
Grace Schulman, who has been called “a vital and permanent poet” (Harold Bloom), makes new the life she finds in other cultures and in the distant past. In Without a Claim, she masterfully encompasses music, faith, art, and history. The title poem alludes to the Montauk sachem who sold land without any concept of rights to property, and meditates on our own notion of ownership: “No more than geese in flight, shadowing the lawn, / cries piercing wind, do we possess these fields, / given the title, never the dominion.” She traces the illusion of rights, from land to objects, from our loves to our very selves. Alternatively, she finds permanence in art, whether in galleries or on cave walls, and in music, whether in the concert hall, on the streets of New York, or in the waves at sea.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you are a lover of poetry and beautifully crafted prose, then this is a book that you will not want to miss out on.
Grace Schulman is a poet who commands language to bend to her will. She uses words as artists use paint and canvas, painting an illustrious and lasting picture for her audience.
These poems have a melodic flow that makes them a joy to read aloud. I daresay they are almost more incredible passing the lips than whilst still in the mind.
Heavily steeped in nature, art and history, you will find complete stories here within the confines of each contemporary psalm. Some of the pieces are of a rather melancholy nature, but still written in such a way that you feel better after having read them.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone. Find a quiet place, turn down the lights and allow yourself to fully enjoy this incredible book.
This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.