In his compelling new collection, David Huddle writes, "We think / we stand in the vivid color of here and now / and view the past as drab black and white, / whereas the truth is -- it's our future / that's the off-center, badly focused grayscale."
Spiraling between the tenses of time, David Huddle creates in these vibrant poems a defense against the encroachment of age through the resources of language and memory, imagination and art. Moments recollected--and admittedly embellished--from his own life and family seem appealingly familiar: a teenage dance, Grandmama's morning coffee, young daughters playing dolls. With age, wonder has become understanding, and so when intimations of his death arise in the midst of sharing a joke with his children, the poet shows us the comfort and peace that murky prospect may hold. Playful and fantastic narratives about penguin clans, Jane Goodall and the chimps, and what to do when it snaows offer wit and craft as further barriers against pain and despair. "In my family we were /all good at dreaming," Huddle's closing poem notes. Undaunted, Huddle gives us in Grayscale not false hopes about our lives but a range of ways to transcend their limits.