Weaving intimate portraits of home with what could be the travel journals of a 21st-century troubadour, Tracie Morris’s human/nature poems is a hymn to the human and more-than-human world. These poems bear the record of a state of heightened perception, springing from the displacements of travel and returning, of memory and its triggers, of global pandemics, ecological catastrophe, political unrest, and mourning. As Harryette Mullen writes in her introduction to the book, “this poet’s perspectives are local and global. The work unites hemispheres of earth and brain as it incorporates a wondering mind in a wandering body.” With great precision and abundant insight, Morris articulates the seam of our “human/nature”: “Sol has hands in Cairo, in Luxor / today He Rises. I wonder where / the outstretch lands. It matters knot / what circles your head. What your / kin says is power. Aspects of ever / lasting light, life is always made from parting.”
Praise for human/nature poems
Tracie Morris is the genius poet of the double-dutch: crafted, elegant, urgent, playful, fun, and musically timed. In human/nature poems, Morris dismantles gentrification, climate violence, space/history travel, ancestry, and inspires us to look at our relationship to what we call “nature,” and what we deem “human.” Our memories are stirred toward ice, discoloration, and with the simple act of opening a refrigerator, we are in the middle of an epiphany, in a constant state of departure even as we arrive. This book is a journey into the future, a requiem, and a boomerang. My advice to you, reader, is not to jump in late. Straight up: Tracie Morris has her ear to the earth as it murmurs, struggles to breathe, and never lets us forget.
— Willie Perdomo, State Poet of New York
Tracie Morris’ human/nature poems calls us to deep and spacious attention for everyday rituals of wonder – our “small seam of certainty” in the midst of gray breath and human ceremony. For “we walkups [who] rarely get time to clear our heads,” there is pulled-from-the-world language to flip expectation, “a mirror of starling wings” to sing.
— Ching-In Chen, author of recombinant