The Bright Nails Scattered On The Ground
Poetry by Allen Grossman
Allen Grossman’s The Bright Nails Scattered on the Ground is a book of poetry which tells of a man and a woman in love. Since their bond is unsanctioned, they must confront the task of building another universe in which their love can have a place. This is the creational work of their union, intimate, historical, and cosmic, that must be tested against reality and hope––in short, against the totality of human affairs. The book is divided into three parts at whose center are two full narratives (“A Blue Heron” and “Eurydice, or The Third Reich of Dreams”) in which the man and woman each produce the story of their own existence. The shorter poems of the first and third parts set forth the context of their love, from the primordial shattering of full providence (“The Song of the Lord”) to reconciliation in worlds of possible consummation (“Quies or Rest”). An elegaic pilgrimage, The Bright Nails Scattered on the Ground looks back to Lucretius, Dante, and the Kabbalah, to Hölderlin, Yeats, and Rilke, in its quest for the actuality of love.