cover image In the Still of the Night

In the Still of the Night

Dara Wier. Wave, $18 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-940696-57-7

With her typical subtle and eloquent emotionality, Wier (You Good Thing) offers up harmonious meditations on disquieting themes. The prevailing subjects here are grief and its effects—which, in the context of these poems, is simply one element of the condition of living. “How many conversations/ With who isn’t/ Able to talk back/ Is one human allotted?” Wier asks. Beneath this lies the question of what roles a poet and poetry perform in the function of grieving: “People like how a poem is one place (there are others) we believe talking to the dead might have the results we desire and intend.” Without pedantry or obfuscation, Wier’s lines cohere into a philosophical discourse about the poet’s relationship with the world. “If anyone wants a poet usually they want their poets to be saying something,/ if not for them, then at least apparently having them somehow or other in mind,” she writes. These lines hint at a strange comfort to be found in this collection, despite its heartbreaking material. “It’s true that people like to be surprised by what they find in a poem,” Wier writes; there is much to be surprised by here. (Oct.)