Phillip B. Williams. Penguin, $20 (112p) ISBN 978-0-14-313693-4
In the remarkable second collection from Williams (Thief in the Interior), the poet writes powerfully about masculinity, Blackness, selfhood, anger, loneliness, and love. The first poem beckons, “Come, sit at my bedside,” and what follows is the complex and potent honesty of someone who admits, “I too have wielded a knife/ to execute someone I love more than myself.” These poems shimmer with thematic heft without shying away from anger and disappointment. Balancing tenderness with rage, and love with pain, Williams offers a complex portrait of a speaker navigating a society whose history is one of brutality. As he asks in “January 28, 1918”: “What is the border between tragedy and beauty?” In “Final Poem for a King,” he admits, “There’s a condemned house in me,” while in “January 1, 2018,” he writes, “I remain in laughter./ It is my latest state of being, of matter.” These poems capture the resounding loneliness and grace that arrive after anger has burned away, while offering rewarding and memorable images that celebrate the opportunities to appreciate the chance for survival and renewal. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/28/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Poetry
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-50844-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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