Here and Now: Poems

Here and Now: Poems

Stephen Dunn


In his 16th assortment, Stephen Dunn maintains to carry his mind's eye and intelligence to what Wallace Stevens calls “the difficulties of the normal,” which in fact pervade such a lot of our lives. The poem “Don’t Do That” opens with the strains: “It used to be bring-your-own should you sought after something / demanding, so I introduced Johnnie Walker crimson / besides a few resentment I’d held in / for a number of weeks.” In different poems, Dunn contemplates his personal mortality, echoing Yeats—“That is not any kingdom for previous males / cadenced every little thing I said”—only to find he’s joined their ranks. In “The author of Nudes” his speaker is looking for the body’s “grammar” yet tells his types, “Don’t anticipate to determine your self as different / than I see you.” jam-packed with grace, wit, humor, and masterful precision, the poems in Here and Now attest to the contradictions we are living with within the right here and now. Political and metaphysical, those impressive poems remind us of the basic human comedy of having via every one day.

from "The apartment at the Hill"

      . . . from out of the fog,

      a huge, welcoming condo could emerge

      made out of invention and surprise.

      No issues with no principles! you'd shout,

      and the doorways might open,

      and the echoes could cascade down

      to the valleys and the remote towns.

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