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Reviving the Dead


by Gary Fincke

The Perimeter Melody

          An "exclusion zone" with a thirty-kilometer
          radius surrounds Chernobyl.

Silence like fingertips reading the alphabet.
The first word is warning, the second, forbidden.

Always, there is a nearest inhabited house  
From which the future is most clearly understood.

Laundry hovers on clotheslines, waiting to be worn.  
A woman examines the field where her neighbors

Are absent. When the wind rises, she imagines
The music being played for Chernobyl’s guardsmen,

Their cells, so close to hell, surely gone to madness.
Her sheets begin their stuttered song. A shirt whispers

A prompt. If she walks two hundred steps, she will reach
The barbed wire where the earth’s edge has broken. Along

Its arc is the border where bearable begins.



The poems in Reviving the Dead are triggered by the death of the poet's father, but they work to do more than narrate events. Centered by the long, title sequence, these poems come at death and grief, as well as faith and skepticism, from as many angles as the poet can muster, using science and religion, history and myth, popular culture, and what seem to be trivial oddities, to create a particular way of seeing that has drawn praise from writers, editors, and readers alike. The poems are polished but electric; they are dark but vibrant with love and longing. This collection brings us the characters, places, and incidents of narrative poetry, but it also rises to the exacting lyricism of a singular voice that connects us to what it means to be human.



Through thought, we can strongly remember what has left us behind. Reviving the Dead is a collection of poetry from Gary Fincke. Drawing on the grief from the death of his father, he brings readers poems that are dark yet hopeful for our future. Reviving the Dead is a simple and profound read that would do well in any poetry collection. Highly recommended.

Midwest Book Review



This book is available in Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, and Apple E-book formats, for purchase, and through public libraries' Overdrive account, for loan.

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