WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR POETRY 2019
Ada Limon is a poet of ecstatic revelation . . . a book of deep wisdom and urgent vulnerability’ Tracy K. Smith, Guardian
‘Vulnerable, tender, acute . . . The Carrying is a gift’ Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former US Poet Laureate
‘Exquisite poems’ Roxane Gay
From National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Ada Limon comes The Carrying – her most powerful collection yet.
Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility – ‘What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?’ – and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: ‘Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.’ And still Limon shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. ‘Fine then, / I’ll take it,’ she writes. ‘I’ll take it all.’
The Carrying leads us deeper towards the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.