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“Achieves a delicate balance between structural solidity and movement. . . . Warren’s latest poems tend to veil their complexity in understatement.”—Harvard Review
In her fifth collection, Rosanna Warren draws inspiration not only from her own life but also from the works of other artists, both classical and contemporary, real and imagined. Warren explores the political and the personal through myth, history, elegy, and erotic lyric. She eulogizes her mother in poems such as “Mediterranean,” where she writes, “the mystery was / not that she walked there, ten years after her death, / / but that she vanished, and let twilight take her place—.” In other poems, Warren contemplates wreckage and sorrow in family life, in Hurricane Katrina, and in the Trojan War, but also moments of eerie blessing. In her most forceful collection to date, she obsessively traces themes, both ancient and modern, in a voice compelling and deeply persuasive.
There was something I wanted to say, at the age of twelve,
some question she hadn't answered,
and yesterday, so clearly seeing her pace before me
it rose again to the tip of my tongue, and the mystery was
not that she walked there, ten years after her death,
but that she vanished, and let twilight take her place—
About the Author
Rosanna Warren is the author of six poetry collections and a volume of critical essays. She has won the Lamont Poetry Prize and has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. She teaches at the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.
Arrestingly plainspoken, within the shimmering shapes she devises. . . . The bitter taste of that word ‘expertise’ conjures the sweet experiences and sensations this book often celebrates (or whose absence it laments). . . . This book represents a significant contribution to the national imaginary.
— Dan Chiasson - New York Review of Books
An important poet . . . beyond the achievement of all but a double handful of living American poets.
— Harold Bloom