This collection has everything to recommend it to the serious poetry reader. A complexity of thought and feeling subtly winds its way into your subconscious and, like her realization of Rothko’s work, finally infuses itself into the world we see.
Fulton leverages this episteme in the sonnet trio, “Triptych for Topological Heart,” to illustrate Western culture’s transition from classical religious dogma to new age secularism. The scientific theory of “topological psychology” describes the plasticity of human behavior and its propensity to adapt itself to a given environment. A significant part of this adaptation is the dominating role of concrete science over the increasingly subsidiary position of the closed-loop systems of myth and ideology.
Prynne achieves enviable compression of language by a heightened use of linguistic and cultural references that are strategically employed to treat themes of modern life. As his is a poetry of resistance to the new world order, it challenges the hegemony of the hardened shells of political and social structures that attempt to dominate human sentience.
Ange Mlinko’s new book of poetry, Marvelous Things Overheard, expresses our contemporary experience by way of micronarratives, using poetry’s familiar lens of myth, fable, and anecdote, and overlaying these with the received “truth” of the arts, science and technology as they are filtered through our national experiences and family histories. The psychological perspective, one that Mlinko surely sees as uniting us with ancients, discloses an unsettling arrhythmia at the heart of our existence in the modern world.
Concluding his essay on Wallace Stevens in Poetry and the Age, Randall Jarrell commented: “A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great.” If that is so, Seamus Heaney was a lightning rod.