Susan Ludvigson

Wave If You Can See Me

From the author of Sweet Confluence, a moving collection of poetry conveying her experience of her husband’s illness and eventual death.
The running theme through the collection Wave If You Can See Me is the progression of illnesses resulting in the death of the poet’s husband, and fiction writer Scott Ely, from the effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Interspersed with these poems are her own explorations—in part distraction from the pain of watching her husband decline, in part a long-held desire into painting.
Praise for Wave If You Can See Me
“These plainspoken poems conceal enormous complexities of emotion and thought—mournful, hopeful, present to the inevitability of loss and the fact of time. I have long admired Susan Ludvigson’s poetry, and this is her most moving book yet, one I know I’ll return to gladly.” —Kevin Prufer
“Susan Ludvigson’s gleaming poems . . . speak to us in a voice of such hushed intimacy, we’d follow her anywhere—into her back garden with its roses and feathery pecan trees, into her dining room of birds and bougainvilleas, even into those darker or unconscious spaces where trouble mounts, “where everything solid turns liquid” and nothing is as it should be. These are poems I cannot do without.” —Dannye Powell
“[A] sparkling collection. . . . These poems have a luminosity that comes only through experience of both suffering and joy. Throughout this book, deeply moving poems about the illness and death of the poet’s husband are interspersed with others that contemplate the interconnectedness of all things—whales, music, stars, and even her husband “drinking Faulkner’s bourbon” somewhere “in the airless beyond.” These are poems that shine with feeling and intelligence.” —Patricia Hooper, author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights
“A standout portrait of hope un-tempered by grief. [Ludvigson] charts a distinct kind of journey through mourning—not one from anguish to quiet acceptance, but rather one characterized by inquiry and gratitude for the world her husband inhabits beyond life. Ludvigson’s poems are sympathetic to our uncertainties about death and loss, but ultimately serve to assert their place in our lives.” —Corinne Leong
“Though the subjects are often wrenching, there’s a steadiness throughout this collection which is appealing. The poems are tough and sensuous, subtle and clear. And the book is structured so that each poem adds resonance to the one before it.” —Mike James, As It Ought to Be magazine
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