Poetry News

Claire Donato's Burial, Fawned Over Even

By Harriet Staff


Claire Donato's book, Burial (Tarpaulin Sky, 2013), is reviewed at Queen Mob's Teahouse. Judson Hamilton gives us a list. Number one? "The time that must have gone into sculpting this text is staggering and belies its size. It seems to have been lovingly groomed; fawned over even." And on:

4. You’d do well to avail yourself of Ms. Donato’s texts and contexts in the end matter. Aside from providing a glimpse into the glorious gloomy headspace that helped birth this book it should keep you busy for the next few years or so."
5. Don’t ask me how this is related but trust me it makes sense.
6. This is both a tale of grief on a personal level; individualized, as well as grief on an institutional level. The interplay between these two, the interior landscape of the main character, and the sometimes abrupt interruptions brought on by the mechanics of burying a loved one, are well-woven here.
7. Here in Poland the dead are not forgotten. On the first of November people make the sometimes long trek back to cemeteries where their loved ones lie. They wash the graves and light candles. At first I found this morbid, but over the years have come to appreciate the devotion involved as well as the stunning beauty of the cemeteries. I feel this book is in league with this tradition.
8. A flower, a perfect circle represents the dead. (pg. 14)
9. ‘Life is the body of death.’ (Chew on that for a while.)
10. A sudden death. A frozen death. A random forgotten death. A china, glass, or hard cash death. A death that demands grief, demands little grief. And as one reviews the will, it will appear there is so much upon which the deceased rests. ‘O’, the mind exhales. ‘What a terrible mess.’ (pg 72)

Read it all here.