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On a pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Nepal, a group of American women trek into the Himalayas, beginning and ending in Kathmandu. They ascend, turn back just short of reaching their destination because of impassable snow, and descend. Say what you see, smoke rising on a distant mountain seems to command, and Ava Leavell Haymon responds with language that strives to reconcile the extremes of this exotic place - danger and awesome beauty, community and abandonment, death and life, flame's heat and altitude's cold, an alien landscape and the poet's own deep memories. An exacting yet exhilarating poetry collection, The Strict Economy of Fire asks what we can know and what we can never know on this far side of the earth.