paper • 74 pages • 15.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-945588-00-6

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Coming About

Michelle Gillett

“…Whether the subject is the Holocaust, a summer house, the death of parents, maternal anxiety, gardening, love, or memory, the poems totter between sorrow at the passage of time and finding a way to face the future. That mode may not always be completely hopeful, but she finds ways to avoid despair. As she says in ‘Elephant Hearts’: ‘Like anyone who’d give her heart to change what cannot be moved, I favor resemblances.’ As she examines the various choices she has made, she reminds herself: ‘it is easy to forget how close/ I came to the wrong life.’ She is also always aware she is leasing, not ‘buying’, time. And as she plants 300 daffodil bulbs in the last poem in this volume, she knows she is ‘planting for a season I can only imagine….’”

—from the preface by Jacquelyn Malone

“Vespids” from Coming About:

It’s down. The hornets’ nest.
Now first sting of frost on the ground
and we see no threat
only the hollow where harm lived.
Everything the season housed has flown:
yellow jackets idling low in the grass,
bats fanning the dusk, the hornets
threading close to the roof.
When we were children
we’d leap from our beds,
arms flung wide. In the seconds
before landing, we didn’t know fear
resides in gravity or stars fall
into themselves. We imagined rising
over the roofs not like souls
detached from bodies, but as bodies
resisting the world. Light in my hands
when I lifted it from the eave, fervor gone,
no longer wadded in industry, this testament
to vanishings is too fragile to hold.


About the Author

  • “…in Michelle Gillett’s beautiful and moving Coming About, we find an illuminating intelligence and a generous heart. If her attention to the natural world makes us experience her garden and coastal landscapes, her insightful love for family and friends enlarges our own sense of empathy….We are in her debt...” — Joan Aleshire
  • “… Gillett’s insight is Rilkean in its wisdom…. In these fiercely honest poems, knowledge of the fragility of things before ‘the ever-declining light’ keeps pace with a faith that knows always ‘some effect of the light keeps the dusk unfinished,’ staving off the absolute dark. Coming About is a brave and beautiful book by a poet greatly gifted both in her humanity and her craft. " — Daniel Tobin