cover image A Treatise on Stars

A Treatise on Stars

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. New Directions, $16 trade paper (209p) ISBN 978-0-8112-29

The searching 14th book from Berssenbrugge (Hello, the Roses) features long lines that extend across the page. For this poet, “love is a measurement,” meaning the crossing of distance or time. These intriguing, beautiful, yet sometimes frustrating poems take shape as explanations that fail, again and again, to explain anything: “Her persistent observation, even after the frost, is of each leaf coinciding with its luminousness, because of its structure as a lighted space and which shows brightness in idea and form.” Lovers of the constellations and abstraction, however, will find themselves at home in the lyrical language. (Feb.)

This review has been updated. An earlier version of this review was based on a copy of the book the publisher submitted that wasn't representative of the finished book.