Thrilled to read more of Spahr's work. If you've read my reviews for any length of time, you'll know where I stand on that issue. Oddly in all the specifics of war and death, I felt there was a lack of specificity. The connection she makes with how everyone is around everyone and that we are all connected is very strong, and is so very true. Hello readers, Our poetry unit had came to a conclusion today, and we spent our past four classes looking at poems that regard to September 11th attack. Into this cacophony—or perhaps above or below it, at a different frequency—the poet speaks. Exactly how is one supposed to feel? And I speak of the four dead in Palestine.
They function as individual units of a whole: separate yet connected. As humans, we are individuals, but we contain multitudes. This book erases all of my doubts; she is far more interested in getting a message across a message, no less, you've heard hundreds of times before, with nothing new added to the mix than she is with crafting poetry. Oh the parrots and their squawking. I've read Spahr before, and wasn't quite sure what to make of her back then. Since June of 2007, thirty-six books have been forcefully ejected from the window in total.
Internet news is the great equalizer. She didn't live up to my hopes. I am looking forward to reading more of Spahr who seems to know just how to blend the accessible with the edgy to achieve a poetry that is both contemporary and human. This book so elegantly traces the depths of sadness surrounding the current state of world affairs, the connections we have with those who suffer far away, and the suffering of our connections with those we love most, those to whom we are closest, and how we cannot have one without the other. But what direction should our guilt take, Spahr has no clear suggestion except maybe protest.
We watch it all happen on television. So the five-star rating is due a little bit to what the book is trying to do, its aspiration: to speak about something real, primarily war, and something that's very very hard to write about. Yes, the tone gets tiresome. As the book moves on from the abstraction and biology of these earlier statements, into more politically explicit territory, it becomes clear that our sense of separation is what renders us incapable of seeing our own complicity in the behaviors of larger systems. I speak of those dead in other parts of the world who go unreported.
This Connection of Everyone with Lungs is a sustained and anaphoric meditation, a catharsis for our predicament. There is space between the hands. And it goes on and on all day long and then we go to bed. The book made me realize, too, how often contemporary poetry disappoints me--though there's a lot of it I love and find necessary, too--because it doesn't seem to do what this book does, i. I loved this collection of poems.
Yes, the tone gets tiresome. A lot of world headlines from 11 years ago, and they rely too much on the reader's memory and mental baggage, without saying anything of substance or the poet doing the work of drawing connections. Jill Scott's book went out the window in 2006. Fast combat support ships, landing crafts, air cushioned, all of this with all of that. The drive to press up against others in the same way.
Looking back, we might remember that the publication of This Connection of Everyone with Lungs in 2005 was a major event in the poetry world—an important statement on war by a poet who mattered. Everything gets in: through all five senses, through windows, between your sheets, under your skin. But what direction should our guilt take, Spahr has no clear suggestion except maybe protest. I speak of those dead in other parts of the world who go unreported. Because of this she noted everything that happened on the news whether it seemed pointless or important. No attempt to elevate language.
I have no idea when our bodies will feel very good to one of us or to all of us together or to none of us. Very few poets write poems that I have been able to relate to. Everything gets in: through all five senses, through windows, between your sheets, under your skin. The language is precise and effective, and would probably recommend it to other people interested in similar poetics. Partly because of some of the bad reviews here, partly because, flipping through the pages, I kept stumbling on lines that didn't seem very good on their own. Generally, I think using these big events as well as the small personal scenes requires more work.