Betsy Wheeler’s Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room has sort of undone me for the month and a half I’ve spent with it, reading it or letting it hang over to the side and reverbrate while I try ways through other stuff.
The poems in April Bernard’s Romanticism feel more complete, somehow, for the fact that they each align their focus on objects which, on multiple readings, still seem to have no particular connection other than that they’re all from Bernard.
I don’t know if I’m the only youngish reader to have this chip on my shoulder, but I always sort of assume that poems by older people get mellower. Let me say it again: Rich’s lines are harrowing, are incensed and knifing.
Through rigorous consideration, with patient generosity, Valerio Magrelli’s poetry allows all his subjects—broken machines, utterances, each of us—to be our own streets, and in such a transfixing world, a circle closes around Kant: things can be both means to an end and ends in and of themselves.
World Enough is, despite the sometimes soft dulled-razor language, an incredibly smart, idea-driven book, and the in-charge idea and/or force seems to be America, viewed both from within the country and elsewhere.