Poet and writer Max Porter tells us that grief is a thing with feathers. Shanna Powlus Wheeler would say it might have feathers, but grief is something that’s always with us, hidden but ever-present even in times of joy. Like joy, grief is part of life.
The title of Wheeler’s first full poetry collection, Evensong for Shadows, suggests the omnipresence of grief. Evensong is sung in the evening, as the day wanes. Shadows are a picture of what substance is, or was. Grief is life, or very much a part of life, a measure of the loss of love or happiness or relationship. The more intense the love, the greater the grief.
The opening poem, “After a Tour of Britain,” quietly introduces the theme. The poet is dreaming of “nameless ruined abbeys, / naves without roofs / like Holyrood in Edinburgh.” One thinks of Shakespeare’s “bare ruin’d choirs” in Sonnet 73, a lament of the passing of time and the approaching winter of old age.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.