A central theme of The Golden Road is the prolonged dementia of the poet s husband. But Rachel Hadas s new collection sets the loneliness of progressive loss in the context of the continuities that sustain her: reading, writing, and memory; familiar places; and the rich texture of a life fully lived. These poems are meticulously observed, nimble in their deployment of a range of forms, and capacious in their range of reference. They take us to a Greek island, to Carl Schurz Park in New York City, to an old house in Vermont, to a performance of Macbeth, and to the neurology floor of a hospital. Hadas finds beauty in all those places. The Golden Road laments, but it also celebrates.
Rachel Hadas is a professor of English at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is also a poet, translator, and essayist. Her most recent books are The Ache of Appetite (2010), a collection of poems; and Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (2011).