New & Noteworthy Poetry Books

New & Noteworthy Poetry Books

IF MEN, THEN, by Eliza Griswold. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) In her new poetry collection, the Pulitzer-winning nonfiction writer moves from geopolitics to intimate bodily experience while dissolving the line between the self and the world: “Humility involves less us.”

EVERYTHING: And Other Poems, by Charles North. (The Song Cave, paper, $17.95.) “You say tomato / and I say the world is troubled / profoundly,” North writes in his nimble 12th book, rife with wry contemplation and playful nods to his forebears. A later line reads: “The art of schmoozing isn’t hard to master.”

STILL: Poems, by Sandra Meek. (Persea, paper, $15.95.) Meek’s prescient poetry has long dwelled darkly on humanity’s environmental impact; in this book, her sixth, the tone has grown urgent, even apocalyptic. “May your choked fields sing / only hunger’s growl,” the donkey narrator of one poem intones.

13TH BALLOON: A Poem, by Mark Bibbins. (Copper Canyon, paper, $17.) A book-length elegy to a beloved who died of AIDS in 1992, Bibbins’s spare, crystalline sequence is also a powerful memorial for “a generation fully / accustomed to being struck down.”

IN PRAISE OF FRAGMENTS, by Meena Alexander. (Nightboat, paper, $17.95.) Shortly before she died of cancer in 2018, Alexander quit her usual formalism for a freer style that remains alive to history, philosophy and “ordinary earth.”

Winter is best for contemplation. A period of solitude I often remedy with the meditative prose of Sarah Manguso’s “Ongoingness” or Anita Brookner’s “Providence.” But lately, I’ve revisited the metaphysical toiling of Annie Dillard: “Why are we watching the news, reading the news, keeping up with the news? Only to enforce our fancy — probably a necessary lie — that these are crucial times, and we are in on them,” she writes in FOR THE TIME BEING, which explores the grandeur of the individual through a paleontologist’s eyes. How can an individual count? is a question I often ponder, and a recurring thought in Dillard. Her writing on nature and spirituality has been likened to Thoreau’s, and won a Pulitzer for nonfiction in 1975. She challenges us to tear away the veils of illusion and see a different world. “All along I’ve been trying to work toward a vision of where we are on this earth,” she told The New Yorker in 2016. “How can we describe where we are?”

— Geneva Abdul, global news assistant

Source link

About The Author

We are independent. we bring you the Real news from around the world.

Related posts

Leave a Reply