Tupelo Press, 2003
Shortlisted, Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award
Annie Finch’s memorable voice pulses through the magical, earth-centered poems of Calendars, singing the cycles of time that unite our lives with nature and each other.
The poems in Calendars celebrate word, body, and the earth—whether in a a series of ritual seasonal chants for the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, a hauntingly fragmented meditation on Persephone, a sensual wedding poem, an elegy for a powerful father, or a sequence of ecstatic lyrics on childbirth.
"This musical and magical book illuminates the sacred in the mundane, and gives voice to the earth-centered spirituality of our era. Calendars occupies a unique place among books of contemporary poetry. The stanzas of Calendars will echo in the reader’s ear long after the book is closed." "—from the publisher's news release
“Annie Finch’s Calendars is the work of a major poet, one of very few who understand how lyric lives in part because it can speak for something larger than the ego. Annie Finch understands better than any contemporary I know what poetry feels like and sounds like when it is completely at home in its traditions.”
– Charles Altieri, University of California at Berkeley
Calendars is also available as a CD recorded by Annie.
PRAISE FOR CALENDARS
"There are some books one feels should be described as if they were wines, with that same loving attention to their physical qualities, to body and fullness and finish. Calendars is such a book. These are vintage poems. . ."
—Wendy Taylor Carlisle
"An oracle, an ecstatic maenad: that is the kind of traditional poet Annie Finch is. . .Calendars is a book that rewards rereading, for Finch’s beauties reveal themselves slowly. . . The book’s deeper beauties await that second and third and fourth visit. This is a book that will last."
"In her third full-length collection, Finch focuses on the cyclical and seasonal, centering on themes of birth, death, family and artistic lineage, sexuality and female spirituality. . . Finch almost always draws one in with an unnerving and utterly unexpected phrase or image, as when addressing “The Moon”: “Then you are the dense everywhere that moves,/ the dark matter they haven’t yet walked through?”
". . . She gets it. Her commitment is to the language . . .”
"“Finch is more shaman than formalist. She is keenly aware of the shape and sound of her poems. Whether in a chant, sonnet, ghazal, or even Billy Collins’ contrived paradelle, her skill is effortless: Form is merely the skin that allows her poems to breathe with ease.”
– Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, Calyx
“Annie Finch is a great love poet. Calendars is the work of a major poet, one of very few who understand how lyric lives in part because it can speak for something larger than the ego. Annie Finch understands better than any contemporary I know what poetry feels like and sounds like when it is completely at home in its traditions.”
“Sympathies, passions–so often the opposite of actions—are so intensely held, wrung and used, that Annie Finch’s poems spread themselves like so much fresh laundry: sweet, abstergent, redressed.”
Download the free Readers Companion to Calendars from Tupelo Press for behind-the-scenes insights and in-depth discussion of the poems, their themes, forms, and images.
CALENDARS AS A TOOL FOR WRITERS
Because of Calendars’ wide formal virtuosity, it has been adopted by many poets as a template to practice different kinds of form. Poets interested in using the book in this way can download the free accompanying Calendars Readers Guide which includes scansions and commentary on all the forms in the book.
READ-ALOUD REMINDER FROM THE WEST END BOOK GROUP, PORTLAND, MAINE
"When we discussed Calendars in our book group, we discovered that we didn't really begin to fully appreciate the poems until we read them aloud." That's right. The poems are designed to be experienced physically. Please try this, even if you are by yourself. Thanks!— Annie