“Old mistakes, made often enough, become/ a kind of wisdom; go figure,” writes Ramke (Aerial) at the close of his 12th collection. Indeed, it spoils nothing to begin there, as this is a book full of wise figuring with the advantage of hindsight. Ramke combines his fascination with the language of science and mathematics with lyrical riffs on the uncertainty that attends us as beings inseparable from time and space, speaking in a voice marked by kindness and awe: “A bloom is a blessing because.” Gentle and generous, the intelligence in these poems is powerful but soft spoken: “I am aware that all things lie/ hidden within clouds of things.” Rather than clearing the clouds away in search of answers, here wisdom comes in the form of the poet’s eagerness to regard those clouds with wonder: “How wide a lake a/ single cloud might make,/ how blue a shape.” And though these poems find us “aging/ against each other,” the tenor of the collection can be seen most clearly in its consideration of the aging speaker’s connection to children and childhood, where “the child made the greenness of the time/ a function of mind in the world.” How fortunate we are, then, that Ramke’s voice reminds us “You/ are there, here, where voice/ arose in vibratory air.” (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/15/2014 Release date: 10/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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