Animals / Bodies


Animals / Bodies


Finishing Line Press Publication Date: 11/22/2014

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In Animals / Bodies the death of an opossum leads to the death of a birthing; while the birth of a boy is akin to that of a wolverine. These poems are alive with the feeling of shared skins and bodies, with common struggles, emotion and experience. Couturier draws no lines between human and nonhuman fragility or vulnerability. Inspired by Wallace Stevens, “. . . I know, too / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know” Couturier’s poems mourn and celebrate our lives with animals, all the while wondering “is this how absence asks if it has all been enough.”

Reviews and Praise


Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig
Lisa Couturier’s searing, exquisite poems get right to the beating heart of what it means to meet, to lose, or to be a living creature. No other poet writes about animals like this. Her words crack the truth wide open. I am in awe.


Christopher Cokinos, author of Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds and The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars
Even“adjectives” are“untamed” in Lisa Couturier’s exquisite poems. Things beckon and die. Beloved creatures and parts of the human heart come back to the world of human and animal kinship–one and the same. Though there is, here, “a sadness for animals”— deer, horse, vulture, seal, child, parent— and though the speaker wonders if  “absence asks/if it has all been enough”— we discover that “Even without me, birds sing/Fox run at midnight as I sleep.” By having a body, we have the wild, and these poems are vivid sinews. This is wise, heartbreaking and beautiful work.


Maribeth Fischer, author of The Life You Longed For
There is both yearning and sorrow in these elegiac poems, for they not only mourn loss but also seek to accept it. How does Lisa Couturier do this? By looking inward, yesbut more often than not, by gazing up— and out— and examining with hard-earned wisdom and empathy the place of absence in the natural world.


Pattiann Rogers, author of Holy Heathen Rhapsody
The poems in Animals / Bodies address blood, wounds, birth, and demise with a rare and straightforward honesty.  Always succinct and specific, these poems question existence, while they celebrate and respect life, its necessities, its survival.