Shields call out to the violence from which they also protect us, a paradox that belongs as well to the images etched upon them. The damage inflicted alters them, and the beaten, damaged, dented shards sing out differently. In these poems sevenMoreShields call out to the violence from which they also protect us, a paradox that belongs as well to the images etched upon them. The damage inflicted alters them, and the beaten, damaged, dented shards sing out differently. In these poems seven shields each suffer a process, one of wounding, and of healing the wound back to song.
Shards are what remain of shields, fragment words relict from the first poem. Shards become stitches, barest suture of meaning made only from what language in the shard remains, smallest chant of healing the wound must utter itself. Last, built upon the stitches, keeping intact what letters and words there remain, seven songs to replace seven shields, born out of a violence they seek only to sing themselves past.In Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs, we are led onto the ground of our violent past.
We find not just bones but “some song like a coin lost in the grass.” In this gorgeous new work, Dan Beachy-Quick builds a series of poems that refuse to choose between love and war because the choice is a false one. Both exist and both must be reckoned with. These epic-lyric poems are shields: they evidence protection, but also the need to be protected- they are shards: fragments of a whole that pierce- and they are stitches: punctures that bind two together.
Out of erasure, relic, remnant and rhyme, the song emerges. We are told to “bring it home.” We pick it up and carry it tenderly to the refuge that is the poem. “Yes yes the song goes.” —Sasha Steensen