Brief Accident of Light by Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol
Brief Accident of Light the latest poetic collection by Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol showcases the most entrancing poems relating to alluring locations resided in a coastal city called Newburyport. If a book of poems gets the support of illustrations it becomes flawless and shows the essence of seamlessly styled writings in true means as Kate Sullivan’s illustrations have done here. No doubt the poems have an emotional attraction and are well allied with the art of poetry and infuse spectacular effects on the reader as felt in Morning Railway Riders and The Youngest Actors Take the Stage.Amazon USA
Brief Accident of Light the latest poetic collection by Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol showcases the most entrancing poems relating to alluring locations resided in a coastal city called Newburyport. If a book of poems gets the support of illustrations it becomes flawless and shows the essence of seamlessly styled writings in true means as Kate Sullivan’s illustrations have done here. No doubt the poems have an emotional attraction and are well allied with the art of poetry and infuse spectacular effects on the reader as felt in Morning Railway Riders and The Youngest Actors Take the Stage. Moreover, the poems include a vivid description of different locations upon which they are written and can give glimpses of various scenes to the far way reader in the most realistic way.
In the opening poem Plum Island Zazen the poet sets a gratifying scene where the speaker is sitting on the beach before sunrise. He can’t actually see the ocean, because of the darkness. However, he knows that everything in the darkness stretching out before him is “either sea or sky.” The poet tries to figure out the reason behind the loudness in the sound of the waves coming through the seawater but sooner the poet mentions, “Could be its ceaseless restlessness/ has tossed the sea all night.”
Plum Island Zazen
sitting on the beach at 5:01am
The sea is nowhere to be seen.
Yet all that meets the eye,
near or far, or in-between,
is either sea or sky.
A sliver of moon and one pale star
peer from behind a cloud.
The sea, approaching where we are,
has never been so loud.
In First Stop the poet shows the daily scenario of the morning train coming at MBTA commuter station through his writings. The poem includes quite a simple style and devoid of any artificial vocabulary.
the MBTA commuter station at 7:30 am
The bells have cleared their throats. The morning train,
which usage has made human, knows the drill.
It rests here while the seats begin to fill.
A red-haired woman steps out of the rain,
and there’s her profile in a window-pane.
New faces fill the other frames, until
The Marina in October here the poet makes a beautiful miniature from his poetry portraying a marina filled with sailboats that would not sail soon. The last line of the poem speaks a gospel truth as these idle sailboats are meant to sail and horses in their stalls are meant to run.
The Marina in October
The winded sailboats rounded up in port
won’t soon be running off somewhere,
their standing masts as bare
as stanchions in the nostril-chilling air.
Racing the waves is youthful sport,
and now the days grow short.
Reading Brief Accident of Light was extremely charming. This poetic collection will unquestionably fascinate all the readers due to the fact that the poems are full of great depth and simplicity. I would like to request all my readers to show some support by purchasing this sparkling collection Brief Accident of Light by Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol. All the best Rhina and Alfred!
------ Rochak Agarwal
Alfred Nicol’s most recent publication is a collaboration with the beloved poet Rhina P. Espaillat, titled Brief Accident of Light: Poems of Newburyport, from Kelsay Books (2019). The book features illustrations by Kate Sullivan.
Nicol’s third full-length book of poetry, Animal Psalms, was published in March, 2016 by Able Muse Press. Designed and meticulously edited by Alex Pepple, the book has received glowing recommendations from several of our finest contemporary poets, including David Ferry, winner of the 2012 National Book Award, who wrote, “Dear reader, I’ve fallen in love with this book, and that will happen to you too.”
Rhina P. Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. After Espaillat’s great-uncle opposed the regime, her family was exiled to the United States and settled in New York City. She began writing poetry as a young girl—in Spanish and then English—and has published in both languages.
Espaillat’s numerous poetry collections include And After All (2019); Her Place in These Designs (2008); Playing at Stillness (2005); Rehearsing Absence (2001), recipient of the 2001 Richard Wilbur Award; a bilingual chapbook titled Mundo y Palabra/The World and the Word (2001); Where Horizons Go (1998), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; and Lapsing to Grace (1992).
On Rehearsing Absence, Robert B. Shaw wrote in Poetry, “To Rhina Espaillat the quotidian is no malady … it is the source of inspiration. Hers is a voice of experience, but it is neither jaded nor pedantic. She speaks not from some cramped corner but from somewhere close to the center of life.” Awarding Espaillat the 1998 T.S. Eliot Prize for Where Horizons Go, X.J. Kennedy noted that “such developed skill and such mastery of rhyme and meter are certainly rare anymore; so is plainspeaking.”
Espaillat’s work has garnered many awards, including the Sparrow Sonnet Prize, three Poetry Society of America prizes, the Der-Hovanessian Translation Prize, and—for her Spanish translations of Robert Frost—the Robert Frost Foundation’s Tree at My Window Award. She is a two-time winner of The Formalist’s Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the recipient of a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from Salem State College. She is a founding member of the Fresh Meadows Poets and a founding member and former director of the Powow River Poets. For over a decade, she coordinated the Newburyport Art Association’s Annual Poetry Contest.