Non Finito

Non Finito
Eleanor Swanson
Fernwood Press


What is the fascination of the unfinished work of art? It is alive. That is because the unfinished is the doorway allowing the spirit of the reader to experience the universe around us and within us. Eleanor Swanson writes, “We can come to terms with things that can’t be/seen and reconcile ourselves to the fact this/need not be tied to a belief in the supernatural…who has seen radio waves?” These poems are as filled with harmonic motion as the human soul. Non Finito is a magnificent book of poems and meditations that should swing open the doors to a new contemporary poetry for our time. It should be on every bookshelf.

Jared Smith, author of How It Is and Shadows Within the Roaring Fork

The poems in Eleanor Swanson’s Non Finito are discerning and unsettling, haunting and satisfying, radiant and precise, tender and resounding. They are full of a piercing awareness of grief and loss, but also of love and understanding for all that is unfinished, all that is, the beautiful ache of being. What is unfinished loosens and heightens the imagination, “filling the emptiness” as luminous poems do. In the final poem, an unfinished symphony conducted with a knitting needle conjures Schubert, a wild heart, a time out of time. You will not escape Non Finito unchanged.

Veronica Patterson, Poet Laureate of Loveland, Colorado, and author of Sudden White Fan

Eleanor Swanson’s poetic saints include Andrew Marvell, Pablo Neruda, and Wallace Stevens;
and as that diversity indicates, the poems in her luminous new collection, Non Finito, claim a
technical space both traditional and innovative. With lingering amplitude, Non Finito curates and magnifies the beauties of the stubbornly incomplete, demonstrating the elegance of processes ongoing, the moment-by-moment ravishments of life, scarce-bearable loss, and of the art that preserves all.

Angela Ball, author of Talking Pillow


Eleanor Swanson is a widely published poet and fiction writer. Her work has appeared in the Southern ReviewBlack Warrior Review, the Denver Quarterly, the Bloomsbury Review, and the American Poetry JournalNon Finito is her fourth book of poems.


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