A Green Rose Book
“Robert Frost believed a poem should begin in delight and end in wisdom, but in Tree Line, Judy Halebsky proves a poet never has to choose between the two—her poems begin in both and end in both. Smart, sexy, thoughtful, and beautiful, Halebsky’s lyrics are a masterful marriage of tradition and innovation. This remarkable book loves many things—language and landscape to be sure—but most of all, it loves this world and how we make our way in it.”
“Moving between language/s, non-language and those countries in-between, the poems in Tree Line function as a kind-of lineated Noh theater. Here the poet’s eye acts as ‘the night traveler,’ the one ‘hiding in those trees…/ not holding on so much as balancing.’ Every moment is a border-crossing, a tree line of sorts—and a chance for enlightenment. ‘In this world, our life passes, temporary shelter,’ says Basho. ‘Here the heart is…both flawed love/ and a muscle,’ says Halebsky. Using collage and disjunction, along with her skill as a translator and her studies of haiku and Butoh dance, Halebsky has threaded together poems that function like koans. ‘Prop up the branches to carry the weight/ in case of lightning or electric love.’—I loved reading these electrifying poems, so full of wisdom and heart.”
“Judy Halebsky’s poems dance between magic (tree) and logic (line), shadowing the delible and illuminating the indelible in a world where language is both pilgrimage and shelter. I am grateful to Halebsky for these attentive, graceful perceptions.”
Judy Halebsky’s first book,Sky=Empty, won the New Issues Prize and was a finalist for the California Book Award. Her chapbook, Space / Gap / Interval / Distance, won the Poets-Under-Forty award from Sixteen Rivers Press. Originally from Nova Scotia, she now lives in Oakland and teaches at Dominican University of California.
Ink on Paper
Read by Judy Halebsky
Video by Adriane Little
Publication of this book and production of this video were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.