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Realignment is an extended meditation on the human condition, shifting perspective from poem to poem to embody a variety of cultural milieus. A disruption in morning ritual realigns one’s day. A painter switching brushes realigns his style. A break in syntax corresponds with an abrupt change of pattern in an Afghan carpet. Like “a gentle winding down,” the poems in Realignment address the self-understanding brought on by changing memories of the past and, ultimately, the realignment of removal, vanishing, and farewell consume the heart of the book.
Praise for Realignment
For the fortunate reader of Ruth Roach Pierson’s book, her “realignments” are all enlargements – of working vocabulary, as words such as “brindled,” “mazard,” “umbrageous,” and “mephitic” take on new and surprising poetic power; of voice, as Pierson’s muscular syntax reflects the movements of an agile and capacious mind; of experience itself, as her Whitman-like catalogues embrace a dazzling breadth of times, places, and things; and – most especially, for this reader – of spirit, as objects resonate with human meaning through Pierson’s dynamic metaphors. Look and marvel, for instance, at how a simple piano stool in the title poem becomes an image for the winding realignments of felt life, enlarging our grasp on that turning, precarious world through which she guides us so expertly in this superb collection.—John Reibetanz
…she gently turns over an event, an idea, a piece of art or a word in her hand like you would an apple, to to admire its beauty, to anticipate its taste, to follow its poetic possibilities.—Al Rempel, ARC Poetry Magazine
At its core, this is a book intent on showing how poetry’s connotative language (metaphor, symbolism, allusion, etc.) works to reveal a different kind of truth than that grounded in the denotative, fact-naming language of our everyday speech and thought processes. Seen from this perspective, Realignment moves beyond its autobiographical content to demonstrate the mind’s capacity to interact with poetry (and with art in general) to illuminate even our darkest and most painful recollections.—Dean Steadman, The Malahat Review
Ruth Roach Pierson peppers Realignment with…marvels.—Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry