cover image The Revisionist & the Astropastorals: Collected Poems

The Revisionist & the Astropastorals: Collected Poems

Douglas Crase. Nightboat, $23.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-64362-010-7

With an introduction by poet and critic Mark Ford, this important volume gathers and contextualizes Crase’s innovative body of work. “Crase established himself as among the most resourceful, inventive, ambitious, and well-equipped of those attempting to renew and extend the Whitmanian covenant,” Ford explains, rightly calling attention to Crase’s recasting of transcendentalism and the capacious sensibility of these poems. “When your mind is on the move, it meets many familiar things/ It does and it doesn’t recognize for the first time,” the poet observes, as though describing the poems’ own movements through their artistic lineage. Crase renders the most familiar tropes wonderfully strange, these “revisions” of a received canon proving as subtle as they are provocative: “A century Begins,” he explains in “To the Light Fantastic,” “begins because it discovered/ The rights of man, or unearthed light.” Elsewhere, wordplay suggests an ecstatic mystery: “The mitigation remembers the mischief,/ And nothing’s repaired except to engender it/ Different. All things are wild/ In the service of objects.” This expertly framed volume marks a lasting contribution to American poetry. (Oct.)