"This sprawling book-length poem from an American countercultural giant takes its form and concerns from a Tibetan Buddhist ritual and from the poet's close encounter with the endangered aquatic mammal of her title . . . Waldman's energetic odes and dialogues, part memory and part dream, may learn from the manatee what it is to be human; they also try to understand the nonhuman, from seaweeds and seashells to mammals . . . Exuberant . . . Waldman figures the gap between mind and body as the gap between air and sea, between the manatee's world and our own."
"Waldman brings her wild, oracular voice to the environmental questions that currently bedevil us . . . Waldman uses both rhetorical and visual devices to demand our attention, but her work is predominantly incantatory . . . One of Waldman's strongest books."