IN MY UNKOWNING

"In My Unknowing, Chard deNiord’s sixth collection of poems, we find ourselves in a world beheld by the spark of seeing, on the border of Platonic emission: a world of salt sorrow and red lust, coterminous with everything at once. To read these poems is to float at a holy distance over the earth, herein recognized as the heaven it has always been, as no other place would do for living forever. It is a world about to evanesce, but is as yet legible to us in these masterful poems, which are in themselves a species of musical awareness."

Carolyn Forché

"'The force that gives us meaning/is terrible, bloody and sweet,' writes Chard deNiord in his astonishing new book In My Unknowing. DeNiord is a true spiritual visionary, which is to say there are no dialed-in answers, no self-defense, the stakes are sky-high, and everything happens in real time. The voice can be ecstatic or lacerated: it’s also funky, humane, topical, grounded. The cloud of unknowing can waft from a fine cigar. Lovers at a drive-in are moved to discover the night sky. A self-imposed chore reveals '[...] the lamp of internal difference that needs/the spark of my seeing anew to light its mantel.'

Always, Earth is the place of transformation. If ever there was a poet who answered the command in Rilke’s Ninth Elegy it’s deNiord. It’s thrilling how much he expects of language and experience, how little he takes for granted... In My Unknowing is charged with the pang of the insoluble mysteries: dreams, waking, the face of the one you love.”

 

Dennis Nurkse