Wedding in Fire Country
A beautiful girl once confessed she killed a crow.
They mate for life, she said. Now one follows
me wherever I go.
Book DescriptionAn otherworldly uncanniness haunts the margins of Darren Bifford’s debut collection, Wedding in Fire Country. Bifford is exceptionally adept at capturing the beauty of the mundane, and his poetry offers an insightful meditation on the meaning of the individual journey within larger political and geographical spheres. However, these familiar scenes are shot through with darker moments of raw violence and fear, as wolves wander the landscape of young adulthood and disaster taps at the windows of domestic spaces.
Bifford makes use of folkloric motifs and the juxtaposition of wilderness and urban environments to emphasize radical gaps in human understanding. Throughout the collection, the unknowable is embodied not in monstrous creatures, but in common experiences such as nostalgia, illness and accidents. Many of the poems are related in a voice whose serenity belies its sinister undertones—in one poem, the narrator’s tone hardly registers a change when a father-son bonding experience suddenly takes a gruesome turn. Touching moments of intimacy can be found throughout this collection, but menace continues to lurk in the shadows.