I have recently completed an absorbing extended reading of this fascinating, deeply challenging book of fine poetry. It is always difficult to put one’s deepest responses to a profound reading experience into words, but here are mine, at least for now: As an author, poet, and therapist myself, I was fascinated with Ligi’s poetic exploration of loss and healing in life. In these classically based poems–both in form and in reference–Ligi serves up without hesitation the issues of damage, trauma, transformation, and renewal, but in an unexpectedly random order, much as life itself serves it to us. Ligi is a master of classical form and understands well the trajectory by which classical themes have become so–because they tell the truth of life without stint. These are not easy poems, just as life is not easy. But they are beautiful and they are True.
Diane Cox McPhail, author of The Abolitionists Daughter
There are many topics covered in this exemplary collection of poems, “Hammer of God” by Aria Ligi—damage, pain, acceptance, healing, and moving on (but not necessarily in that order). There is a back and forth, a skipping around of steps in the healing processes, as there are in any PTSD recovery process. Each section in the collection has its own internal process order, and each section is in itself a process.
Mx. Ligi’s poems are laudable, her storytelling prophetic, her subject matter empathic and impactive. There are scenes in the book that will shock you, relate to you, or remind you that we live in an imperfect, violent world. This is a book that should be read by everyone, not only for Ligi’s assonantal singing but to give hope to those who have lost hope.