You read a poem aloud or, more often, a voice almost like your own recites the words in your mind, almost like being silent. What you hear is your performance of the poem: your internal recitation directed by the poem’s unimpeachable arrangement, how it asks to be read.
Something happens when we read Dana Levin’s poems—time doesn’t merely pass but replicates itself—and so these poems simulate how, exactly, the poet struggles with and through her intermittent silence between the pages.
It is commonplace wisdom that our enduring ekphrastic poems do not merely transcribe or represent their source material. Like all poems, they enact an experience for their readers. This particular experience happens to be guided by one’s own transformation while encountering a visual work of art.
The poems that imagine photographs, the making and distribution of images to one or many friends, to strangers, revisit a figurative injection posed in Jana Prikryl’s first collection: a poem is not functional, a poem is something to be experienced in time.
Do the people of Devon Walker-Figueroa’s 2020 collection love to learn? Do we watch them learn in change while reading this book, and do we, in the process of reading these poems, learn anything?
Facing George Oppen’s “shipwreck of the singular” positions one to reconsider a problem with the act of naming, of not remaining silent: to name our own singularity ignores the material of the wreck, the end of one’s own life equivalent to the end of the world.
The poet of Dan Chiasson’s poems is a father and a son, often both at the same time. The poet of Dan Chiasson’s poems, since his first collection was published in 2002, reveals more about himself, his being a father and a son, through the way his poems are
In the hyperbole of “apocalypse,” in the rhetorical design that anticipates a time predicted forever, a poem that meditates on the end of the world situates itself somewhere between prophecy and historical memory. An end has been ongoing—and changing—since the first mention of the end.
One does not take notes from the epithalamium for instructions on how to arrange a wedding, how to make a marriage successful, how to communicate with a loved one. The wedding poem anticipates its continued listening, sometime in the future.
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.