Fast: Poems

Jorie Graham. Ecco, $25.99 (104p) ISBN 978-0-06-266348-1
Graham more fully explores the new direction she hinted at in her 2015 selected volume, From the New World: poems that are frantic, syntactically and formally restless, shifting from long-lined stanzas to prose blocks to short, single lines. Those four new poems, including the title poem here, engaged a consciousness at the outer limits of bodily experience. Graham’s 12th collection joins these poems to 19 others in a dizzying, difficult exploration of that border and the world beyond—the one in which the human is becoming or has become unrecognizable: “Each epoch dreams the one to follow.// To dwell is to leave a trace.// I am not what I asked for.” This latest book contains some of Graham’s most accomplished work to date—the poems “Reading to My Father” and “The Medium” among them—but Graham has always been a poet of great books, followed by books that explore new forms and new ways of seeing. This is at its heart a book of exploration, with varied levels of success. Still, there’s a great pleasure in reading one of America’s most intelligent poets work her way through subjects that are by their nature beyond understanding: “the floating faces which carried/ themselves through all the eras—they say nothing,” Graham writes; “there is no real to which you can refer.” (May)
Reviewed on: 03/27/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-06-266349-8
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