Thursday, June 16, 2011

Northerners by Seth Abramson

New Issues 2011. Yes, someday I will figure out how to take decent webcam photos, but for now: THIS BOOK. How did it end up on this blog? Oh, you know, because it's awesome. It has so much heart, and the language is goddamm exquisite. But most of all, I love these poems so much because they're conflicted, yet bold, yet beautiful, yet interested in everything and in knowing of everything, endlessly groping for the invisible perimeter which divides the self from others. The "Northerner" self sometimes seeks to examine this solitude, other times to shrink from it, or to escape into a more courageous, mythological-self when the knowledge becomes too heavy: "He was sorry for how he'd sat / a massacre in the guise of a man / at a party for a boy he didn't know, / oldest there / by forty years ... where the majestic tail of his life should have been, / was just a boy / asking whether he'd agree to play horse / in a game of Knights. / He would." These poems are in love with the world despite all its traumas and cruelties--they feel, comment, and even advise, and in doing so are involved in the kind of world-building I find most commendable: "At the base of the lift / a man waits / to go up. He has courage and nothing / to have courage / for"
Not all books of poetry leave you with an overwhelming confidence that your life is better for having read it. This book makes me feel like I can do better and be better. It makes me feel like everything is important, though everything might hurt a bit, and that everything is a marvel to be treated as such.


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