Placed in the context of twentieth-century moral disaster--war, genocide, the Holocaust, the atomic bomb--Forche's ambitious and compelling third collection of poems is a meditation of memory, specifically how memory survives the unimaginable. The poems reflect the effects of such experience: the lines, and often the images within them, are fragmented discordant. But read together, these lines become a haunting mosaic of grief, evoking the necessary accommodations human beings make to survive what is unsurvivable. As poets have always done, Forche attempts to give voice to the unutterable, using language to keep memory alive, relive history, and link the past with the future.
About the Author
Carolyn Forché is the author of Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award; The Country Between Us, which received awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of America; and The Angel of History, awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She is also the editor of the anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Centuly Poetry of Witness. Recently she was presented with the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award for Peace and Culture in Stockholm. She lives in Maryland with her husband and son.
“A dark, richly textured, complicated world...that great rarity, an altogether new thing.” — Boston Globe
“A difficult book to put down, or to forget...Forche proves once again that socially conscious poetry is not a contradiction in terms.” — Review of Books
“A dark, richly textured, complicated work...[The Angel of History] is that great rarity, an altogether new thing.” — Liz Rosenberg, Boston Globe
“I don’t think I have ever come across a poem of such length that is nevertheless so beautifully transparent and haunting.” — James Merrill
“Remarkable. . . . Poetry of consummate beauty...reminiscent of Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land.’” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The Angel of History is instantly recognizable as a great book, the most humanitarian and aesthetically ‘inevitable’ response to a half century of atrocities that has yet been written in English.” — Calvin Bedient, The Threepenny Review
“The poignant cri de couer of this singular work most affect all who have an integrity still possible in this painfully despairing time.” — Robert Creeley