Monuments to Life and Beyond
Poetry that Transcends Our World
In the introduction to Travel Among Stars, Margareta Horiba says that poetry was written with the birth of the universe. This makes poetry a transcendent, unifying way of viewing the cosmos, of capturing beauty, of understanding important moments in the present and memories of the past, of sorting things out and laying down some markings in a wild terrain.
The poems in Travel Among Stars do lay things out. They celebrate the real world, from matters as large as the stars to as concentrated as Japanese calligraphy. They understand the seasons, they travel the earth from Sweden to Las Vegas and many other points between and beyond, and they travel through time by way of memory.
Margareta Horiba is obviously well read and well traveled. Many of her poems pay tribute to other writersEmerson, Woolf, Proust, Coleridge, Ishiharaand to other artists from many cultures and many eras, from an unknown carpenter to the sculptor of ancient Chinese horses.
Death is present too in Travel Among Stars. Its not a thing to avoid or lament. In fact, these poems persuade us that beauty transcends death. To live is not necessary, Horiba says. To experience the worldand beyondis. Margareta Horiba doesnt deny the grief of deathone poem reveals anguish over the tragedy of Kosovobut she sees beyond death. In a captured moment, one of her characters creates from sorrow a monument to the dead. In her prayer Kyrie, she expresses the transcendence over sorrow, asking that it be swallowed into the cosmos and reborn as a fresh wind.
The poems in Travel Among Stars give us much to think about. In addition, with their clean, musical brookwater style, they are a pleasure to read aloud.
Margareta Horiba was born in Sweden and now lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is a librarian in the law school of Tulane University.