<!-- Chana Bloch: The Moon Is Almost Full -->

The Moon Is Almost Full

By Chana Bloch

“Under siege, I am still a kingdom,” writes Chana Bloch in this signal, singing, singeing collection of poems. Each page verifies the beauty and scope and surge of a life both extraordinary and daily, embraced not in spite of our mortality, but because of it.

—Jane Hirshfield, The Beauty

 

Chana Bloch insists on life. Inviting us to the view from mortality’s edge, taking us to “the intersection of self and door,” she can experience “a joy so acute it startles me” even in the cancer ward. For all of us who have “looked down a well so deep / you couldn’t see bottom,” she teaches us to look around:
 
A sparrow lands on a springy stalk,
rides it fluently to the ground.
The deer come up close and present their ears.

—Alicia Ostriker, Waiting for the Light

 

These poems, fashioned with compact power and formal elegance, are a luminous demonstration of how poetry can be the vehicle for both confronting our darkest fears and yet continuing to affirm the preciousness of life. The Moon Is Almost Full is the crowning achievement of Chana Bloch’s distinguished career as a poet.

—Robert Alter, The Book of Psalms: A New Translation and Commentary

 

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