The Tilt Torn Away from the Seasons imagines a human mission to Mars, a consequence of Earth's devastation from climate change and natural disaster. As humans begin to colonize the planet, history inevitably repeats itself. Dystopian and ecopoetic, this collection of poetry examines the impulse and danger of the colonial mindset, and the ways that gendered violence and ecological destruction, body and land, are linked.
Rogers translates the other-worldly, and the discourse of astronomical science...into innovative and sensorial lyrics. Her lines contain enough familiar touchstones, however, that readers won’t lose their way in a gloss of unknown terminology ... Nearly every line, every image, has a double meaning ... The Tilt Torn Away from the Seasons contains many more themes than the few I have highlighted: sailing and flying; color and language; cartography and geology; physics and music; and religion and myth. Each subsequent reading reveals more layers, complexity and ingenuity and consistently arresting images and phrases.
The poems are episodic but not bound by a linear narrative imperative, rather they accrete in flashes of lyric exploration. And their form often bends toward the utterly (and earthly) conventional ... Something approaching but not quite arriving at humor is present ... Rogers takes full advantage of the bewilderment and bemusement we all feel when confronted with an impossibly open-ended question delivered by means of a form ... She wants rather for us to take the prospect of imminent environmental collapse and its practical consequences at full face value, even if that means boldly going where no woman has gone before. To that end, her vocabulary incorporates geology, anthropology, astronomy, physics, agronomy, metallurgy, biology, and a kind of free-floating epistemology of distance and dread.
Her visionary leaps are as bold as NASA’s though the impact of an interplanetary trip on the human spirit is her central occupation. In her poems wonder is in tension with alienation, excitement with loss and grief ... Wisely she turns to the histories of imperialism and colonialism as she speculates on our future interplanetary travels ... What makes The Tilt Torn away from the Seasons so compelling is how richly it expresses human desire from various perspectives and in novel forms ... Rogers’s poems, on the other hand, showcase a multitude of disembodied voices singing about their alienation, excitement, grief, pain, and joy ... There’s a lot of formal daring in this book, as if Rogers’s ambitious concept demands new forms ... [There's] an eerie universality to Rogers’s voices that requires us to meditate on human desire on a scale beyond Earth’s. It’s as if she’s discovered a new category of existential bewilderment.