Hour of the Ox
Cancio-Bello follows Last Train to the Midnight Market'(2013) with a second collection that makes clear the qualities that secured her the 2015 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Beginning with 'Anti-Elegy,' Cancio-Bello summons life and death as she embarks on a mythic journey into her family's past. Images of the sea and all that it contains, of travel and distant lands, create an ethereal setting. The emotional stronghold she creates using sparse language and vivid imagery fills the emptiness rendered by sadness and grief and expresses feelings of desire, obligation, and love. Drawing on the ancient tales of far-off places, Cancio-Bello contemplates the search for home and how the word home and the concept home establish themselves in our psyches and resonate with hidden meanings. As she prepares us for sorrow, she also reminds us of its retreat, and in this way emphasizes that life is an accumulation of experiences and perceptions.