Light Wind Light Light

Bin Ramke. Omnidawn, $17.95 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-63243-053-3
Ramke (Missing the Moon) continues to work in the erudite, enlightened idiom he’s mastered over decades in a 13th collection that wears its maker’s learning lightly. The poet draws upon writers as divergent as Arthur Schopenhauer and Sally Mann, yet memory, desire, and fantasy decenter book learning. “The human is a harrowing// of evanescence: ‘the simplest words’:/ it is too cold for work now in the fields/ the southern fields full of folk,” Ramke writes, invoking Dickinson and Stevens. Traveling to Saturn, the speaker hears the “wind wave waft whisper” of space. “I walked/ under its rings, renouncing/ the world I knew, believed I knew// belief is a kind of winding, a wind/ of desire around a spindle of self.” Incantatory sounds seduce the reader away from investigating the poet’s anxieties of influence, as the poet comes to know better in every sense of the phrase. For all Ramke’s immersion in his past, he cannot unlearn his mathematical training, nor would readers want him to. He delights as much in sharing the concept of “subitizing” (“To know how many without counting”) as the reader may in discovering a new model of reading: ecstatic intuition. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Genre: Fiction
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