Looking at Michael Blumenthal's And

Thumbnail image for 39071350_resized.jpgA wonderful and underrated poet, Michael Blumenthal has published an evocative volume of poetry simply called And.

The title and the word, connect the world’s opposites and how they remain unchanged: The “monstrous stays monstrous,” he says, “and the beautiful, too — it stays.” And so it is. The volume is like a sad hymnal, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I had a chance to sink my teeth into And for the Jewish Forward. Here’s a snip.

The pessimism of the narrative voice is moreover built into the grammar of “And” — right down to the title. The word befits “the nomenclature of grief and desire,” Blumenthal writes. And perhaps it’s the perfect word to illustrate humanity’s paradox.

To be human is to long for something, and to long for something is to be in pain, and to be in pain is to be human. It looks as if idealism is damned, too.

But is the world according to “And” really the worst of all possible worlds?

Well, yes. And no.

The whole story …

May 16, 2009 11:08 AM | | Comments (0)

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This page contains a single entry by FlyOver published on May 16, 2009 11:08 AM.

Long overdue retrospective... was the previous entry in this blog.

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