“Truth in poetry” depends not on the record of information but on experience: a life represented in metaphor, the patterns of language that make a time-signature through which we listen.
Noah Warren’s new poetry collection opens with “Preface to the Second Edition.” What’s been excluded from this edition—words that may have been included in the imagined first edition—and what’s been included to shape a different experience of encountering these words in this specific order: it’s all impossible knowledge.
Poetry is the process of happening, its reanimating force something experienced each time a poem is read in our heads, aloud, privately, or to others. The best poems—Rachel Mennies’s and Sumita Chakraborty’s poems—are made with such specificity, such unmistakable architecture, that hearing them is this experience, this happening.
Poets are grappling with their anxieties over the future of artificial intelligence; with their awe at technological innovation; with their fumbling through the knowledge that, in pockets and backpacks, one carries with them a computer’s long-term memory—infallible and encyclopedic, unlike ours.
After almost fifty years of his poetry, Muldoon has prepared his readers for a journey not through our own predictable circles—these syntactical maps rule out one’s own choice between right or left—but to arrive somewhere comfortably unexpected.
A. R. Ammons's 1993 book-length poem, a meditation on excess and waste as the defining trait of our species, anticipated the worst conversations one wishes were avoidable: climate change and a non-hyperbolic global destruction.