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Glass, Irony, and God

“Fusing confession, narrative and classicism, Carson’s poetry witnesses the collision of heart and mind with breathtaking vitality. In five long poems and a final essay (the provocative “The Gender of Sound”), her often droll tone and limber use of poetic form mediate a deeply philosophical undercurrent. The nine-part narrative poem, “The Glass Essay,” delivers a truth-telling mosaic of diverse subject-matter?including the speaker’s departed lover, a visit to her mother, The Collected Works of Emily Bronte, sexual despair and loneliness and visions termed “Nudes.” Twenty wry, swift takes on “The Truth About God” include God’s Christ Theory and The God Coup; “T.V. Men” wittily casts Sappho and Antonin Artaud as television personas, and explores the medium with ever-shifting refrains such as “TV is made of light, like shame.” The 70 brief sections comprising “The Fall of Rome: A Traveller’s Guide” deliver a round-robin meditation on strangers, dread, holiness, and mastery; “Book of Isaiah” retells the prophet’s struggles in jarring language that reads at once futuristic and supremely ancient. Like a miner’s lamp, Carson’s nuanced voice illuminates often-unexplored interior spaces.” – Publishers Weekly

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