Soul in Space

Soul in Space

Soul in Space
| Published April 18, 2014 |

By Kristy Webster
Thursday Review contributor

I always have the hardest time writing about the books I love the most. It is because I worry that I can’t possibly do them justice. Such is the case with Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot. Having read, no, devoured, The Bigger World, I could not wait to get my hands on her latest collection of poetry. Soul in Space is a series of miracles, of lights and shadows collected as verbs and nouns, emotions delicately wrapped but bravely delivered by a true master of language; the raw or plain thing, made breathtaking and gorgeous.

It is difficult to talk about poetry if it’s experienced in such a personal manner. It’s as if you’re repeating a private conversation you’ve had with someone you share a deep, emotional intimacy with. When I read Noelle’s work, I’m in a state of awe; as if I’m just discovering that my best friend is a fairy or a wizard.

This collection speaks of loss, the weird intermittent world that bulges from space left behind, the aftermath, the after-strange. I read it as the reemergence into life, flawed yet beaming with messy excitement. Here are a few examples of some of my favorite moments:

From “On the Debut of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time”:

“Somewhere an angel has counted

Infinity wrong, and rests his cheek

Upon the stars.”

From “New Jersey Song”:

“Leave the suitcases behind. Walk away

From it all. Remember to sell that little

Doll you had in its awakening. No number

Gives us comfort or beginnings. The

Quiet stars peek out from their small rooms”

From “Poem”:

“An electric wire, blessed be

The falling things about our faces,

Blessed is the socket of an eye

That lights the body, because

In the end, in the very end, it’s

Just you. You and you. And you.”

Noelle Kocot is a poet I want the whole world to know about, to be grateful for, and to be inspired by. Read Soul in Space and discover your favorite moments.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Go Poem Crazy in April, National Poetry Month; review by Kristy Webster; Thursday Review; April 16, 2014.

I Don't Know Do You; review by Jessica Smith; Thursday Review; January 28, 2014.