Even in the deepest frozen tundra, even in the driest desert air, even in the stillness of a forged metal core, a heart beats; Brian Turner’s essays examine love and loss through the far-reaches of the natural world, through time, through the spirit world, through the aching loss of a loved one gone too soon. I was propelled by his prose, given a gut-wrenching front seat to his sorrow, given wings to see the world from above, to exist within his brave and expansive hope. This is what Turner gives us, even in these terrible times: hope. Turner is known as a poet but as with My Life as a Foreign Country, he shows us that often our best writers are poets of prose. Maybe this deeper seeing eye, that senses the poetic pulse of the universe comes from a soldier’s sensibilities. Perhaps this ability to see beyond the huff of the caribou, the dusty spin of our ashes, the weave of our sheets, the nature of this simple plate of eggs, is something only a soldier poet can see, or maybe it is just what the courage of his own personal vision demands. Those hard truths. Where he has learned to keep his wife close and where they have “learned from the silent place they have traveled to in dying, where they sing.” Either way I could read these pieces over and over, forever losing my faith and then learning again and again how to have hope, to have courage, to love again.
Read “All Our Lazy Sundays” by Brian Turner >>
Read “Waiting for the Sun” by Brian Turner >>