Way, Lillo: Lend Me Your Wings
Shanti Arts, paperback
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Publisher Marketing: The poems in this award-winning collection take the reader on a ride with things that fly, including the poet's grandmother (who was an aerialist with Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth), birds, ghosts, insects, ancestors, an angel or two, as well as humans attempting to flee. The manuscript was a finalist for The Blue Lynx Poetry Prize, The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, The Sally Albiso Poetry Book Award, The Barry Spacks Poetry Prize, and The Brighthorse Prize. One of the poems, "Offering," won the 2018 E.E. Cummings Award from New England Poetry Club, and another, "Appropriation," was awarded a Florida Review 2018 Editors' Prize. Arresting images by artist Rachel Brumer interlace the poems in this extraordinary collection, enhancing their sense of wonder and surprise.
"Rich in music and in imagination, LIllo Way's Lend Me Your Wings is a celebration and a joy. She begins with poems that capture the thrill of her grandmother's aerial feats in the Barnum & Bailey circus 'It's about the letting go-his eyes, / your arms, the trapeze, its song.' And her aunt in 'soft golden boots / in her arabesque on a trotting brown and white mare.' And then moves into more marvels as she invites a garter snake 'to pass / under the impossibly high arch, the golden gate / of her golden-brown foot' and feels 'the molecules it has disturbed touch her skin / like breath from an infant.' We go on to find the world full of wonder in unexpected places, such as in 'Barn Lit by a Duck Egg, ' which begins 'O spheroid O perfect thing.' But she does not ignore the grit of life. Even in this poem of extravagant praise, we see the speaker 'crouch / on these rotting wet boards in the pig-reeking dark'. Nor does she look away from the truly terrible. In 'Offering, ' which is dedicated to David S. Buckel, the Environmentalist and LAMBDA lawyer who self-immolated in 2018, she writes 'Unbuckle him, unburn him, un- / fuel his futile flames, unfossil / the fumes, refold them. Fold / him in our unarmed arms.' In 'Broken, ' she writes 'I hear birds, clear as glass, in sounds we call song / or we call language, and which the birds call / nothing.' That's close to a description of these poems. That 'nothing' that holds everything." --Ellen Bass