L.A. Times Book Award Finalists
"Poetry, Philip Larkin once said, is a machine made of words: The reader puts the penny of her attention into the slot and pulls the handle; out comes a feeling. Which is true of any art form, no?
"But for my money, only a poem can be replicated in toto, no piece missing. We remember overall novel plots or isolated sentences. A movie character or balletic leap haunts you. A tune may stick in your head. These are fragments. Only a lyric poem -- committed to memory in language we all use -- can be activated anytime, anywhere, yielding an artistic experience in its entirety. Pinned in a subway car with arms at your sides, you can call up a poem and enter a cathedral of words that anoints you again in your singular passions. And great poems keep moving in us forever, time and again."
Mary Karr, introducing a poem by Archilochos in the Washington Post "Poet's Choice" column.