Park’s prose has been justly compared to poetry; his writing also has a vividness and urgency that makes you want to feel what his characters feel. What is it like to be married to a poet? Can one share his vision when “all that is visible […] is the wet gleam of the shingle and the sea that stretches to the sky”? What happens when a woman realises that “the poem is water entrusted into her hand to carry and she must not spill even a drop”? How does it feel to read your husband’s lines about “unbroken constancy of love” knowing the poem is to someone else? As you ponder these questions, chronology matters less and less. The book leaves you with the impression of poetry as a vast space where voices echo across the years, ringing in your ears longer than any acoustics would permit, a poetic resonance riding its wave.
Anna Aslanyan reviews David Park‘s The Poets’ Wives.