Friday, September 23, 2011

Speak Low by Carl Phillips

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. The highest compliment to a book you love might be not being able to articulate why you love it. I can tell you that I love Phillips' use of recursive as he tries again and again to pin down how to say what he's saying, as well as whether or not what he says is valid. I can tell you that I love how Philips uses sex, and particularly the dynamics of power within rough sex, to ground these  cerebral and philosophical poems. I can tell you these poems are hot. I can tell you they are intellectually demanding. None of this really gets to the heart of why I like this book, why I keep picking it up and reading poems at random, reading them out loud to anyone who will listen, holding up the book and saying, "You must read this." You're one of those people now.

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