This Rocking Motion of Time

writ­ten by Yvonne Pearson
Fin­ish­ing Line Press, June 30, 2023


Yvonne Pear­son­’s poems in This Rock­ing Motion of Time are deeply incar­na­tion­al. These fear­less lyrics exult and grieve for what the body under­goes in its pas­sage through youth, through love and age. They form a gor­geous, sen­su­al tes­ta­ment to being mor­tal, to being here, and to know­ing this will not always be so. (Susan Deb­o­rah King, Poet, Moon Dance, Drop­ping Into the Flower, One-Breast­ed Woman, Coven, Taber­na­cle (Poems of an Island))

In this beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of poems, Yvonne Pear­son casts a panoram­ic look at her life and asks, ‘How do we live with/this rock­ing motion of time?’ This ques­tion informs all the book’s poems, poems about a child­hood in North­ern Min­neso­ta, about rais­ing chil­dren, about a long mar­riage. With rich imagery and qui­et lyri­cism, the poems artic­u­late the joys and com­pli­ca­tions of dai­ly life. An open curios­i­ty and gen­eros­i­ty inform the col­lec­tion, explor­ing the mys­ter­ies of time and the mean­ing one might make of a life. And while the cen­tral ques­tion Pear­son asks is unan­swer­able, the book’s final poem sug­gests an under­stand­ing born of expe­ri­ence: “I can­not choose what comes in/The dark­ened line, the shadow/enters with the light? So be it.” Shad­ow and light; joy and sor­row; birth and death—all of these make up the rock­ing motion of time, and Pear­son, in the last words of the col­lec­tion, wel­comes them in. (Cullen Bai­ley Burns, Poet, Paper Boat, Slip)

This Rocking Motion of Time

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