Praise for Bright Mirror
“Christine Perrin’s Bright Mirror may not raise its voice, but it does confront, with clarity and honesty, the glass darkly in which it sees itself. What it sees throughout its Vermeer-like hold on detail and the bright moment is the happiness of reconciliation.”
“In her Bright Mirror, Christine Perrin offers in luminous figures the images gleaned from a lifetime of textual and intertextual reflection. Her ongoing dialogue with prior utterance and her uncommon care with the word, as such, make all the more evident that all such engagements are acts of participation with the living, with Life.”
“The stately elegance of Perrin’s verse is great enough that a 21st-century reader might forgivably figure it as distance. But the distance here is both tender and grave: a quality that necessarily inheres between the speaker and her God, between herself and her husband, her children, those she loves. These are, above all, poems of measure, poems that mark both what separates us and its occasional, keen transpiercings—that make, as she says, the ‘bright spinning complete.'”
“In Bright Mirror gardens provide ‘a carved out, narrow human place’ in which Christine Perrin assembles, through the artifice of memory, an evolving story about her life. Bright Mirror, however, is not a book about planting or the seasons of the earth but rather is a deeply devotional meditation on doubt and faith. Like a contemporary Book of Hours, it asks us to stop and pay attention to the bright silences that fill our hours, days, and years.”
As a writer, she enjoys tracing the genealogical relationship of one writer to another and sees writing as the highest form of reading. She is interested in the conversation that the philosopher Gadamer thought we were meant to have with literature—one that causes us to live differently. He describes poetry as “a nearness.” She has learned a great deal from her students—conversation partners. Another influential polymath is the literary critic George Steiner, who insists that as readers we are here to serve the text, to dialogue with the writer, and to respond to art with art, to the extent that we are able. Some of her favorite work to do is with students writing a senior thesis, a yearlong writing project. Christine and her husband, Christopher, are the parents of three grown children: Zoë, Elle, and Noah.