William Wenthe's third collection begins in the domestic realm
then moves outward in subject and place -- to a bird market in
Paris, the Jaffa Gate in Old Jerusalem, the Chain Bridge in
Budapest -- before returning to the familial. The poet recalls his
own cherished experiences of fatherhood: rocking his infant
daughter in the early morning, lying with her outside on a pink
flannel sheet, and watching her joyous reaction to the sight of
roses. While actively engaged in the artist's struggle to represent
reality, Wenthe draws attention to the particular, to moments and
events that seem to exist beyond thoughts and words. In "Uhte,"
Wenthe reflects on the Old English name for the hour before dawn:
"that word / has haunted me -- wondering how that hour / had first
called forth a need / to be distinguished by a sound."
In well-crafted free verse, traditional meter and rhyme, prose
poems, and nonce forms, Wenthe meditates on family, language, art,
history, and the natural world, striving to find words to capture
the richness of life.
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