Following his acclaimed Blackbird Song, Randy Lundy’s fourth collection of poetry modulates traumatic memories with the greater spiritual affirmations offered by the natural world.
Field Notes for the Self is a series of dark meditations: spiritual exercises in which the poem becomes a forensics of the soul. The poems converse with Patrick Lane, John Thompson, and Charles Wright, but their closest cousins may be Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabulations—overlapping structures in which notes or images are rung slowly and repeatedly like bells. The goal is freedom from illusion, freedom from memory, from “the same old stories” of Lundy’s violent past; and freedom, too, from the unreachable memories of the violence done to his Indigenous ancestors, which, Lundy tells us, seem to haunt his cellular biology. Rooted in exquisitely modulated observations of the natural world, the singular achievement of these poems is mind itself, suspended before interior vision like a bit of crystal twisting in the light.
Praise for Randy Lundy:
“Here is a poet of whom one can say—quietly, simply, with gratitude—that highest of praises: the real thing.” —Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty
“Randy Lundy has entered the place where the masters reside…” —Patrick Lane, author of Washita
"The physical and mental pain Randy Lundy experienced from age three until middle age and beyond haunt him all his life as memory holds both his joy and grief. Yet he is a survivor, and much of that survival stems from his ability to see nature as the most important healer in his life. We, the readers, are lucky to see how the best and worst experiences in his life are transformed into poetry we acknowledge as reflecting our own lives…. We discover once again that heart is central to the act, but so is guts." ~Duane Niatum, American Book award winner and author of Songs for the Harvester of Dreams, Earth Vowels, and other works