by Elizabeth Percer
In these compelling and ambitious poems, Elizabeth Percer interrogates “the murky significance” of life: its genesis, tenuousness, and our hope for its very existence. As if arguing that life begins in the root of a word, Percer’s moving and miraculous poems echo with a curiosity both “tender” and “invasive,” and prove, by their primal and presumptive longing, that language itself can be umbilical: at once clinical and lyrical.
– Robin Ekiss
Elizabeth Percer’s Ultrasound is a book of surpassing beauty. It probes the despair of losing an infant before birth and also the joys of later delivering a healthy one. Medical details of pregnancy are conveyed in language that is lushly lyrical rather than clinical. An ultrasound is framed as “Let us play a game of clouds.” The fetus after the one lost is told, “You aren’t the first mystery.” One doesn’t have to have carried or delivered a child to feel awed by these poems—only to remember that each of us was once sheltered in a delicate and precarious womb, that each of us had to make the miraculous journey from darkness into light and air.
– Susan Terris