Body Be Sound

By: Georgia Tiffany

Body Be Sound reads like a book of spells and incantations, a collection of deliciously musical poems rendered as sound and sense—about (if I can say such a thing) being especially alive, hearing and seeing and in every way sensing life on this earth in this universe. If there’s a presiding spirit in Georgia Tiffany’s work, I think it’s Rilke: the visions and descriptions have a level of utmost intensity and clarity, and they come via the music of a poet with a virtuoso’s ear. Read for a while and you’ll realize: we are sound, we are life, we are music. Here are poems in which marmots “shake their little fists at the sun,” where there’s “a lie in love with wind.” Magic happens on these pages. Read, and be amazed.

   —Robert Wrigley, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

$18.95

What Reviewers Are Saying

Body Be Sound reads like a book of spells and incantations, a collection of deliciously musical poems rendered as sound and sense—about (if I can say such a thing) being especially alive, hearing and seeing and in every way sensing life on this earth in this universe. If there’s a presiding spirit in Georgia Tiffany’s work, I think it’s Rilke: the visions and descriptions have a level of utmost intensity and clarity, and they come via the music of a poet with a virtuoso’s ear. Read for a while and you’ll realize: we are sound, we are life, we are music. Here are poems in which marmots “shake their little fists at the sun,” where there’s “a lie in love with wind.” Magic happens on these pages. Read, and be amazed.

   —Robert Wrigley, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

 

For two decades, I’ve admired and envied Georgia Tiffany’s poetry, poems deeply felt and of her heart and blood. Their reverence for the earth. Their quiet but passionate attentiveness. The practiced music of poems that seem as natural and necessary as breath. In her world, memory is redemption, longing a path to clarity. This is a poet who listens, one with a sure compass for what matters. I encourage the reader—like the wild horses of Body Be Sound’s compelling first poem, that “drink with their whole bodies”—to drink deeply of this fine book, this sad, sensual, celebratory work of a lifetime. 

—Gaylord Brewer, founder and editor of Poems and Plays

 

“Tomato Preserves” is the heart of Georgia Tiffany, she the poet of tenderness toward family and family’s intricate workings, locale, work, music, nature from her kitchen window, nature in the broader landscape. She is preserving for herself—and readers—a time when the world was quiet. Each page is taken from her pantry of recollections, each a spoonful of language honestly told. I think what she has done is superb. This book of poems, Body Be Sound, is first rate, lovely.

  —Gary Soto, author of The Elements of San Joaquin

 

How these poems delight. Snow “perspires. The sky displays “a firmament of hawks.” Butterflies shape-shift into “phantoms of the pheromonal dark.” Georgia Tiffany’s characters and landscapes resemble Andrew Wyeth’s paintings to lodge in the consciousness. They offer a momentary stay against confusion by virtue of the clarity and composure they confer upon the world.

—Paul Lindholdt, author of Making Landfall

 

To read Body Be Sound is to step into the world of an observant poet. She misses nothing, from the way syrup flows inside a tightly packed jar of preserved tomatoes to how a manatee is feminized by the sea. More than anything, these luminous poems will fill you with wonder, a much-needed sentiment in these, or any other, times. 

                                    —Sayantani Dasgupta, author of Women Who Misbehave

 

From polished pianos to vulture-bone flutes, music provides an underlying fascination in Georgia’s Tiffany’s poetry. In Body Be Sound, waxwings, snow angels and mountain ash may move a reader to tears of joy and open an opportunity for reflection with discoveries both personal and archeological. Wordsworth in Lyrical Ballads set the standard of “emotion recollected in tranquility” and Tiffany delivers from her opening “Before the Snow” Tundra Swan to her final “Body Be Flute” vulture. These poems at times project a harsh & brutal landscape, yet one this writer deeply loved. Such a paradox of saying the inexpressible becomes a crucial task of the poet. With lines like “what she sees she does not see,” yet “Deep as roots disappear/Without disappearing” Tiffany invites her reader to explore beyond the surfaces, to grapple with life in a world of COVID and climate change. It’s not easy to make the journey from a child still haunted by impaling a butterfly to a poet resolved to share “survival in every little thing,” but Body Be Sound is profoundly successful in mapping that pilgrimage.

—George Ives, Community College English Instructor

 

 

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest