The poems in Courage Underground burrow beneath the skin to examine the relationship between consciousness and body. They penetrate hidden emotions contained by vital organs; they enter the sensibilities of lower order creatures and characters of the mythic underworld. The journey elicits new perspectives on loss and alienation that are both hilarious and startling.
Don't condescend/ to call my last song tragic;/ don't sigh and say/ that nature is so extreme./ Hatched in a tree,/ I chose the ground/ and seventeen years a worm/ before I shed/ my larval skin and emerged,/ for all of a week,/ to sing and die.
Beating boldly at the centre of Courage Underground
, Julie Roorda's provocative new volume of poetry, is the very root of courage: heart. It is a broken heart, a generous heart, a heart of hell and darkness, and ultimately a transplanted heart. I mean that literally. Roorda dares to use the actual idea of organ transplant to embody the emotions of love and loss. This is a poetry that shows us exactly what is vital about our vital organs, grisly yet ethereal - and subtly, sexily mysterious. Roorda forges poetry from its source: the underground core of feeling that fires imagination.