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Hannah Larrabee explores faith, astronomy, climate crisis, and the holy minimalism of composers such as Arvo Pärt in a series of epistolary poems addressed to Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.


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Imagine being spared a consciousness of insignificant observations, for example: I have not written poetry about cheese, or other things I love, but then some beds are shallow and have no need for dreams, while others offer themselves to the deeper pools of imagination, and everyone I know seems to struggle with reconciliation; there is no sense in it – it is irrational in the best possible way, like drunken forests, and who needs dreams given such deranged landscapes? The earth has broken things off with us – we are suddenly enemy and it feels familiar, and it feels perilous, any attempt to mend. If the earth took on a human voice it would still choose not to speak to us – it sends instead monsoons, tornadoes brutal as betrayal, and I have betrayed, betrayed in silence, the worst kind – and sometimes we are deceived into thinking it is against our better nature to ask forgiveness.

In drunken forests, trees stagger sideways as if trying to their put ears to the ground. Is there music in the thawing permafrost, the stirring viruses? Does it feel like roots breaking inside a frozen mouth, like celebration ushered in on the arm of our own indulgence? Every mistake is a temporality, a symphony – do not forget the ways in which we all participate in demise. I have learned to love words in their moderation – always more behind the scenes, the work of things, the earth in its rightful stirrings. The honeybee is spared a consciousness of insignificant observations – it will record distance, vibration, an entire symposium of color, but even honeybees will abandon their work – fall silent – for the span of a solar eclipse in totality. The other heavenly bodies so rarely show their darker faces here on earth, especially in such a way as we are thrown into someone else’s dream – decidedly not human – a reverie and a sick feeling, the boundaries of sleep smeared by rough lips, the honeybee stunned and covered in pollen.

About the Author

Hannah Larrabee’s recent full-length collection, Wonder Tissue, won the Airlie Press Poetry Prize. She’s had work appear in journals such as: The Adirondack Review, Glass Journal of Poetry, Lambda Literary Spotlight, and Nixes Mate Review, and she was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Hannah was selected by NASA to write poetry about the James Webb Space Telescope at Goddard Space Center, and she’ll be sailing around Svalbard with scientists in 2020 as part of the Arctic Circle Residency. She has an MFA from the University of New Hampshire.


Copyright © 2020 Hannah Larrabee

Cover design by d’Entremont

ISBN 978-1-949279-28-3

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.

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