Poems by Eve Grubin

The Buried Rib Cage

Unhappiness on Earth

A Gate We Might Enter

 

 

“Somebody is closing a gate / or opening one” writes
Eve Grubin
in the opening poem of her first collection, Morning Prayer. This confluence of ambiguity and gravity runs through the poet’s lithe and contemplative poems. She creates a space in which an event seems to bear great significance, though its meaning may be obscure to both speaker and listener. In the words of Fanny Howe, Grubin seeks “nothing less than a reconciliation between silence and manifestation,” using Jewish mysticism and ritual practice, literary constructs, and the formative rites of youth as vehicles for understanding. While she borrows phrases from Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Jane Kenyon, and others to fill allusive spaces, it is the poet’s internal knowledge—born not of intuition but of longing—that gives true direction to these poems.

The clear-eyed speaker in Grubin’s poems sees the past as “a wave of saffron,” and states plainly, “Yes, grief happened, will happen.” Here is a voice constantly searching for pieces of itself in others, in scenery, in history—and only blinks, enchanted, when it fails to find what it seeks. “There are mysterious, suspicious fires around words, lines, poems themselves,” writes Stanley Moss. “Her work is dangerous to itself, right as rain.” It is this thrilling danger that gives the poems their incessant, humble light.

An alumna of Smith College, Grubin’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Pleiades and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, was a fellow at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education from 2005-2007, and served as program director at the Poetry Society of America. She is currently pursuing her PhD in English at CUNY’s Graduate Center and teaches at the New School and City College of New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
      Poetry Center Reading:  
    Fall 2007 (with Gail Mazur & Gina Franco)