"One of the wisest books I've read in years, and it would be a shame to think that only poets will read it."—David Kirby, The New York Times Book Review, on Madness, Rack, and Honey
"What a civil, undomesticable, and heartening poet is Mary Ruefle . . . any Ruefle poem is an occasion of resonant wit and language, subject to an exacting intelligence."—Rodney Jones, Poetry Society of America, William Carlos Williams Award citation
Trances of the Blast is a major new collection from recent National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Mary Ruefle. Full of Ruefle's particular wisdom and wit, the poems deliver her imaginative take on the world's rifts—its paradoxes, failures, and loss—and help us better appreciate its redeeming strangeness.
If only I'd understood that loneliness
was just loneliness, only loneliness
and nothing more.
But I was blind.
Little did I know.
If only I'd invented salt.
I might have died happy.
I wish I loved you,
but you can't have everything.
Mary Ruefle is the author of many books of prose, poetry, and erasures. She is the recipient of the William Carlos Williams Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. Her book of lectures, Madness, Rack, and Honey, was named a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives and teaches in Vermont.