Through centuries, poets and artists have asked how to love and not be destroyed, how to enter the mystery of the dance and allow utter disintegration while tapping, and tapping at, the heart. This collection draws on ekphrastic and encaustic traditions in literature, alchemy and painting to explore the paradoxes of making and being, of devotion and seeing, of sustenance and sentience in matter infused with and bewildered by what we call love. Its formal task invokes a six-pointed star, the alchemic decantation of which surrenders the light of lead to the fallible compromises of what inexplicably shifts when we name the light gold.
Erudite, sage, and deeply indebted to tradition, Kocher hones her imagery to a fierce precision, such that the poems in Foxstruck and Other Collisions transcend beauty and become something uttered otherhow, both spellbinding and life affirming at once. Kocher writes the domestic microcosm with a dark and reeling lucidity, and when she turns her notice to the natural world, which is ever present in her work, a profound environmental consciousness opens the porous body somatically, as a dance. This is dazzling poetry.
“If there’s one thing Kocher does in this book it’s affirm existence, precisely by tarrying with the violence that is one of its conditions… tracing the changing meaning of words as they are put together, alchemised through the power of association…In this book, everything gets a bride, and the soul’s bride is the whole universe.”
EVA BIRCH, Cordite
Foxstruck and Other Collisions, too, makes visible the invisible and presents poetry as a space of human-mystic connection. Shari Kocher is an Australian poet, and this, her most recent collection, emerges in part from her time, in her words, ‘on country’ in Aotearoa and from her time spent with New Zealand women who form an ecosystem of connection within the poems.
LOVEDAY WHY, Landfall