Memory and light stick out to me as the two biggest motifs in Ultimatum from Paradise by Jacqueline Osherow. It’s only fitting that she ends her mindful book with “Eclipses of the Moon.” Osherow starts the back and forth between recollection and reflection by cycling through each memory associated with eclipses: seeing her first with her father, noticing a partial eclipse in her “magical/ utopian respite on the lake”, and then, reminiscing over those and wondering in awe over twin meteors. She paints all these moments vividly as she maneuvers deftly and franticly between her own musings on such things as motherhood for transitions. It sums up the book well. As we touched upon in class, Osherow’s work is a string of these detailed, vivid, and seemingly random places that are scattered all over in this web, connected by… memory and light. The memory is the light in a way. Or maybe vice versa. All these poems involve an illumination of some sort of architecture or art that inhabits a space like a vessel trying to be filled with water for some kind of nourishment. “a perfect marvel of illumination/ in an otherwise unbroken spell of shadow./ It’s as if I found a pristine lexicon/ in the rubble of an earthquake or tornado,” (p. 88). I suppose that’s what Ms. Osherow aims for in her poetry: to make a home for the infinite through a finite place. Or perhaps, she’s just observing how something is always left over from a moment. The speaker of the poem demonstrates this phenomenon through the father with some sort of dementia-esque ailment who “is still himself, in there somewhere.” (p. 88) Maybe the eclipses are momentary, and the light (the “red/ moon-shaped blur” p. 83) resides on the other side, outside of our perspective.