Two Thirds Water extends naturally from LeGrand’s previous collection, Seeds. The title, Two Thirds Water, establishes a series of parallels—the planet and body are two thirds water, and water in various phases appears in two thirds of this collection. Without water, a seed can’t grow. Transitions are often difficult. The growing in this collection is revealed through inverse relationships. These poems imagine the “Sea Without Water”, setting aside unfulfilled dreams in “Sleepwalking”, and the negation of self in “Spilled Moon”. Seeds is a collection about embarking upon transitions. This collection, Two Thirds Water, is about how we try to find our way while in transition.
“Poetry fans will sink happily into this exquisite new collection by Rodger LeGrand, where sleepwalking lovers wake alone, where desolate parrots pluck out their feathers, and where water continues to poison a community. But here too, snowflakes and memories in the lovely quiet hours have their own distinct shape, basic math demonstrates how—despite our presumed busy-ness—the universe goes on with or without us, and “moonlight spills through the blinds like milk.” Each word is deliciously chosen; each poem, a glorious triumph.”
~Robin Stratton, Editor-in-Chief, Boston Literary Magazine
“Many of the 16 poems in Rodger LeGrand's latest collection, Two Thirds Water, are like sweet liquid disguising bitter medicine—until the aftertaste kicks in. As he picks his way along the narrow and treacherous boundary separating acceptance from surrender, LeGrand adds rich imagery and clever metaphor to that currently popular disclaimer, "It is what it is." Put another way, his work grafts the Oriental philosophy that informs his world view onto the rock-bed American sensibility of his origins. For all its beauty, however, the world that LeGrand views is often unkind. In "Baby Elephant," he begins with the practice of securing a chain around a baby elephant's leg, there to remain even as the flesh grows around it. Like that elephant, he writes, human beings often grow up with ‘the sense of being trapped inside, chained to memories. That is how we live.’ Some of his one-liners go right to the bone. ‘One person always loves the other more. Love is not equal.’ ‘Age makes its move every day, in a race we've been losing from go.’ And, in ‘DIY’, he describes a man carving his own tombstone: ‘Hard work, but some things are better done yourself.’”
~Darrell Laurant, The Kudzu Kid, Inspiration Street, Snowflakes in a Blizzard
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rodger LeGrand studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the State University of New York at Oswego. He is a lecturer in Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has five collections of poetry in print—Seeds (2017), Millions of Ravenous Creatures (2016), Hope and Compulsion (2009), Waking Up On a Sinking Boat (2008), and Various Ways of Thinking About the Universe (2005). You can reach him at www.rodgerlegrand.com.