If a Fish: full length collection of poetry by George Burns.
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Poet George Burns embodies what Emily Dickinson, at fifty believed, that "Great Hungers feed themselves." If poetic urgency becomes the blessing of "bees in your love affairs" and a "broken water wheel / abandoned in its stony stream," then it is also those great mysteries moving us forward, toward the gladly unanswered "If..." If A Fish is an ignited testimony to a writer wholly alive in his life --and this life, on the page, feels as kaleidoscopic and passionate as language's "fireflies / blossoming in a field" before us. Take "the very flesh of it" with you on your next voyage home, into the heart, the start of it all.
Elena Karina Byrne, author of If This Makes You Nervous
In If a Fish, George Burns lands with delicate intensity in moments of pain, redemption and unflinching honesty in this collection of poems that serve as lyrical memoir. These poems turn us, in the end, toward a well-earned wisdom.
River Elizabeth Hall, High Shelf Press
George Burns is the most natural of poets. We experience his poetic voice as a deep, personal conversation in the American vernacular that Williams told us to write in. Underneath this apparent artlessness, there is a subtle and powerful artfulness-each word is perfectly chosen, absolutely right for the poem. In this new, profound, and generous collection, Burns engages those things in life that engage us all-family and childhood (in all of their complexity), the various moments that make up a life, the beauties and the solitude of nature, the tenderness of intimacy, and much more. We find a rare, careful honesty in these poems, a desire to tell the truth, the whole truth, and only the truth. This is a beautiful collection, a book to read and reread many times.
Edward Smallfield, author of The Pleasures of C, equinox, and to whom it may concern
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