David Ignatow's Whisper to the Earth is a meditation on survival. These are poems about the ways in which men and women, the living and the dead, talk to one another in an effort to understand the absurdity of the actual world through the surreal quality of dreams and fantasies.
In both lyric and prose poems - which alternate through several of the book's five sections - Ignatow explores the edge between survival and failure, and the infinite variety of self-deception. His is a poetry not of things but of a deeply felt humanity. Life for us is never pure and rarely simple, he seems to say; yet he says so in such apparently effortless language - so quizzical, even satirical, in its idiom - that its lucidity puzzles, amuses, and, above all, heals the reader. Finding humor in the welling of tears, finding pain at the heart of laughter, gathering up the anger and the courage to rise above it all and survive - this is the art of David Ignatow's Whisper to the Earth.