Purdue University Press
Christianne Balk’s second book of poems, Desiring Flight, is a journey into the transforming power of relationship. Her subject matter – whether it is family, the Alaskan wilderness, the life of the naturalist John Muir, or the New England landscape where her daughter was born – is very often concerned with form and grace in nature. Form in her poetry is a serious and graceful matter, as well. By drawing our attention to what we may, at first, be tempted to overlook, the author surprises us by relating it to something else which is not obviously related, but which, by virtue of her keen perceptions, shows itself to be attached, sometimes emotionally, sometimes morally, often mysteriously. Christianne Balk writes about land, landscape, wind, rock, bird, plant and animal, river and ocean as if to record as well as to protect. At the center of her work is a profound reverence for the scaffolding of the earth itself, a willingness to embrace the continual cycles of disintegration and growth we are all part of.