Jennifer Maier is professor of English at Seattle Pacific University and associate editor of the arts quarterly IMAGE. Her other poetry collection Dark Alphabet won the Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry First Book Award and was named one of the Ten Remarkable Books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets. Maier’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, New Letters, Smartish Pace, American Poetry Review, and has been featured on Public Radio International’s The Writer’s Almanac.
In Now, Now, Jennifer Maier’s second poetry collection, time is of the essence.
Moving with quantum ease through the porous membranes of the past, present, and future, the speaker wonders: What is each moment but the swirling confluence (or shy first meeting) of past and future—of what happened, and what-has-not-yet-happened but will?
Such phenomenological questions are sparked by ordinary events: a friend’s passion for jigsaw puzzles; an imagined conversation with a neighbor’s dog; a meditation on the uses of modern poetry. Here, in language at once elegant and agile, intimate and universal, the author probes beneath the surface of happenstance, moving with depth, humor, and compassion into the heart of our shared predicament: that of loving what we cannot keep.
But if time in these poems is relative, it bends toward grace—even, as the title suggests, towards consolation. Taken together, the poems invite us to raise a glass to the way we’re each “held light and golden in Time’s mouth,” and to savor something of the eternal—distilled, sparkling, already lost—inside every now.