David Taylor's new book begins with a huge sigh -- "I gave up on gods years ago, / taking instead the offerings of sex, woods, and wine. / Now, I'm letting go of those too." But then this Texas boy (an inveterate environmentalist) begins to get excited by the New England woodlands and shorelines, coming rapidly to the conclusion that "I know / nothing ... no thing ... not one thing." After that, Taylor's inquisitive dance takes off, ranging from the Texas prairies to Pennsylvania backwoods to the high Sierras of California to the streets of Havana, Cuba. Carefully crafted, highly observational, environmentally sensitive poems that push the pause button on our current chaos.
Palm Up, Palm Down draws on connections and commitments to home and place -- human and nonhuman. Such a topic is not new to poetry; however, this book moves in circles, out and away, then returns home, rediscovering the quiet beyond/within the concept of "home." The collection moves readers to slow not only their reading but encourages them to slow down the pace of their lives, allowing time to inhabit, listen, and invite in the broad array of neighbors.