In his second collection of poems, Adam Kirsch examines the world we live in now, a world in which the dangers of history have invaded the pleasures of private life. His connected poems use traditional forms to create a free, contemporary music amidst the omens of the post-September 11 world. Mr. Kirsch is at home with all the strange juxtapositions of our culture: he can celebrate "the paradisal sighs" of Jane Birkin and still hear the "angelic harmonies" of Handel's Messiah; he can observe military jets trailing "stripes of smoke" and find the quiet of a synagogue in Queens. Invasions is a moving and highly personal collection, Mr. Kirsch's exploration of what he calls, with fear and hope, "the magically real."
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"Philosophically engaged rather than philosophically detached, Adam Kirsch brings a singular and welcome seriousness to contemporary verse. In his new collection, he trains a shrewd eye on the violence and vulgarity of our age, but also celebrates, intelligently and convincingly, the larger and enduring realities of art, science, peace, and faith. These excellent poems are triumphs of craft and hope."
"In these unusually thoughtful, elegant poems, Adam Kirsch has consistently achieved the same end as the 'hypothetical' light of the collection's sole sonnet: he has 'made our dark matter visible.'"