A wonderful prose poem, a beautiful meditation on homesickness and connection to place, and a celebration of Kentucky and that strange and undeniable connection that Kentuckians have to the state.
At turns strict and indulgent, bold and resigned, Donaldson fearlessly questions the conventional terms of nostalgia, and finds it to be both a constructed fantasy, and as sharply real as Kentucky bluegrass.
On Homesickness is a masterful meditation on nostalgia, founded in the tender device of riffs on the 120 counties of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The riffs are lyrical, poignant, evocative—they call to mind Vladimir Nabokov, our high priest of nostalgia.
Longing permeates Donaldson’s lines; it is certain to inspire a lament or two for whatever they, themselves, have left behind.
While some books of prose poems or lyric essays choose a stance of hip, disaffected objectivity—or worse, self-consciously obfuscating surrealism—On Homesickness chooses empathy and honesty, both for the place and people the speaker pines for and for the speaker himself.