A look at some of the fine writers in our hometown of Buffalo NY

Sherry Robbins

a swath of poems from Or The Whale
Buffalo Focus Fall 09 cover

Sherry Robbins, a swath of poems from Or The Whale, which will be published by BlazeVOX [books] in 2010.  


Buffalo is a wonderful city of words! Words, says Beckett, are underlined with silence. And that is the strange beauty and power of Robbins’ poems. She can see with the clear vision of a poet who knows both love and loss and continues to make—to embrace—“the seeds of its opposite.” These poems give us the natural world in stunning beauty and history in all its inconsolable grief.

The title and many of the poems derive from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, which was first published in London on October 18, 1851 in an expurgated three-volume edition titled The Whale, and weeks later as one massive volume as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851. In a circular sort of way, the publication schedule mirrors it’s namesake. The poems included here have been published in a smaller chapbook and in different forms and formats, but BlazeVOX [books] will present the whole work in book in 2010.

Here is the whale, in words, underlined in layers and dimensions forming a rich portrait of what it means to be human—all through the generous, attentive eye. In a few words, Robbins gives us the circle of an inner and an outer, the personal and impersonal, a poetics of upheaval wrapped up in a journey of ritual and reversal. A winding path with an abrupt end, “like a dead end” to cause a stop, a graven silence. This is a quietly eviscerating, astonishing and silent.

buffaloFOCUS : Sherry Robbins 

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