Books: Swarm

By Jorie Graham

"Diminishment I find thee here and there unclear" is a line that reveals too much about this new book by Graham, a Pulitzer-prizewinning poet. The brilliant imagery that Graham has married to abstract thought in the past is often arid or withheld here, replaced by long drifts of spare and enigmatic statements or imperatives clothed in noble posturing. Yet when the poems do work (see particularly the title piece), Graham can still use language like a philosopher's spade to dig into experience--how we sense and think. These can be intoxicatingly deft moments, close to the ground of what it is to...

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