Poetry. The poems in this volume focus on life’s essentials: childhood, the rhythms of family, love for those who are dearest. These themes stand in opposition, often within the same poem, to the darker edges of growing up, the quirks and burdens of history, and the violence of our times, whose horrors are nearer than we want to believe. Other recurring motifs include the ephemeral nature of time and memory, and the inevitability of loss. Poetry, for Edward Harkness, acts as a counterforce against these natural tendencies, against oblivion.