“From the powerful and unforgettable opening sequence which recounts, with passionate intensity and uncompromising honesty, the death of a dear friend from cancer; through the wonderful middle poems on the complex pleasures of marriage, motherhood, and family life; to the final meditations on the poet’s own intractable childhood; World as Dictionary explores the vagaries of love, loss, desire, and will. At times heartbreaking and elegiac, mourning a universe that ‘is racing from us / at the speed of light/ and . . . is never coming back,’ Kercheval is also unswervingly affirmative, celebrating with her infant daughter (whose word for ‘open’ expands her world), ‘Ope, ope, ope . . . we live in hope./ My daughter claps her hands.’ Fierce, intimate, lyrical, profound, and true, World as Dictionary is a beautiful, beautiful book. A book that lives in hope. A book that claps its hands.” -Ron Wallace”
Kercheval, J. L. World As Dictionary. Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999.