Jorie Graham's collection of poems, Never, primarily addresses concern over our environment in crisis. One of the most challenging poets writing today, Graham is no easy read, but the rewards are well worth the effort. While thematically present, her concern is not exclusively the demise of natural resources and depletion of species, but the philosophical and perceptual diJorie Graham's collection of poems, Never, primarily addresses concern over our environment in crisis. One of the most challenging poets writing today, Graham is no easy read, but the rewards are well worth the effort. While thematically present, her concern is not exclusively the demise of natural resources and depletion of species, but the philosophical and perceptual difficulty in capturing and depicting a physical world that may be lost, or one that we humans have limited sight of and into. As she notes in "The Taken-Down God": "We wish to not be erased from the / picture. We wish to picture the erasure. The human earth and its appearance. / The human and its disappearance."With a style that is fragmented and somewhat whirling--language dips and darts and asides are taken--Graham stays on point and presents an honest intellect at work, fumbling for an accurate understanding (or description) of the natural world, self-conscious about the limitations of language and perception....
|Number of Pages||:||128 Pages|
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We did not change, but time changed us. It should be,it seems, one or the other of us who is supposed to say—lestthere be nothing—here we are. It was supposed to become familiar(this earth). It was to become “ours”. Lest there be nothing.Lest we reach down to touch our own reflection here.Shouldn’t depth come to sight and let it in, in the end, as the formthe farewell takes: representation: dead men:lean forward and look in: the raggedness of where the openingsare: precision of the limbs upthrusting down to hell:the gleaming in: so blue: and that it has a bottom: even a few clouds if you keepattending: and something that’s an edge-of: and mind-cracks: and how the poem isabout that: that distant life: I carry it inside me butcan plant it into soil: so that it becomes impossibleto say that anything swayedfrom in to out : then back to “is this mine, or yours?”: the mindseeks danger out: it reaches in, would touch: where the subject is emptying, war is:morality play: preface: what there is to be thought: love:begin with the world: let it be small enough.
I am always bought in with Graham. I admire the work in this book of forming a parallel between consciousness and the movements of the ocean, the conflicting currents of wave approach and receding. And it comes to full force for me in a poem like "The Taken-Down God," where the poet struggles with the conceptual overflow of an experience at the Chapel of Santa Maria, conflicting with the limitations that this world requires. In literal terms, she is not supposed to write while in the chapel, and yet this is what she feels compelled to do. How does a poet negotiate these crosscurrents and impositions?
Oh, Jorie. I just don't know about you. Mostly, I don't get you but love you anyway. This book has a lot going on in it, and it hardly matters what. THe kid knows how to turn a phrase, but I've liked other works by her better. Ask Chad for a more lucid description of Jorie.
My favorite book of one of our greatest contemporary poets, Jorie Graham. Graham's work is often considered obtuse, difficult, and complex but Never I think may be the best starting point for a reader new to her work.
Jorie Graham won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry, so who am I to say she is a lousy poet? All I know is that I did not find the poems in this book in the least engaging. I began the first eight, but was so bored that I did not finish a single one. Her works is not for me.
When I admire an author I read everything they have written.
Some of the poems were really wonderful, but overall, this kind of poetry isn't necessarily my cup of tea.