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Monday, March 12, 2012

Rybicki Rules!

John Rybicki is a favorite poet of mine. He even speaks the magical way he writes: listen to his interview podcast at The Poet & The Poem (scroll down to Rybicki) to hear this amazing phenomenon.

He has a new book, When All the World is Old, available by pre-order from Lookout Books, and I personally can't wait to get my copy (Order from the publisher for a 20% discount). Here's a statement from his press kit:

“If you have ever loved, read this holy book. If you have ever grieved, read this holy book.”
—Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2

At the age of twenty-nine,
just five years after they met, John Rybicki’s wife, the poet Julie Moulds, was diagnosed with cancer. Here, in poems raw and graceful, authentic and wise, Rybicki pays homage to the brave love they shared during her sixteen-year struggle and praises the care-givers—nurses and doctors and friends—who helped them throughout. He invites the reader to bear witness to not only the chemotherapy, the many remissions, and the bone marrow transplants, but also the adoption of the couple’s son, the lifted prayers, borrowed time, and lovers’ last touches. A husband smashes an ice-cream cone against his forehead to make his wife laugh. He awakes in the middle of the night to find their dog drowsing atop a pile of her remnant clothes.

The lamentations and celebrations of When All the World Is Oldcreate a living testament to an endless love. Braided with intimate entries from Moulds’s journal, these poems become the unflinching and lyric autobiography of a man hurtling himself headlong into the fire and emerging to offer us a portrait of light and grace.

Rybicki’s hymns rest in the knowledge that even though all of our love stories one day come to an end, we must honor the loving anyway. The poet has dipped his pen in despair, but as he cleaves his heart and our own, he transmits the exquisite pain of loss into a beauty so fierce and scalding and ultimately healing that the reader comes out whole on the other side.


Some Rybicki poems online:
at Blackbird, hear him read or read the text
at The Paris Review
at Poetry Magazine


Mari said...

Jessica, thank you for introducing me to this poet. I will look for his work. I hope you're well...

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Hi Mari, I hope you'll like his work as much as I do. His words fly fast and in unexpected directions.