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Posted January 25, 2007
This is the best second book of poems I've read in a decade. Of course a certain bloom or glamour (or is it transparency?) is off, but the verse is requited by richer (fallen?) harmonies. Contours are Apollonian as in AFTER GREECE, but the poet knows now that vision, like flesh, is fleeting, even fled, and his assurance blurs, the amber clouds hence 'those moments / of clarifying emptiness / toward which we must steer, then swerve from.' Clearly Bakken has already embarked, with this subsequent (but not subaltern) inspection of his cherished Hellenic adequacies ('So many islands, so much blessed salt, / this feast we could not finish by ourselves'), on an ardent if sometimes arduous odyssey. In poetry of this order¿so luminous, yet so willing to be lost: 'each switchback leads us deeper in'¿peregrination itself will be a march of triumph. No captives.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.