This fifth collection condenses his obsessions into poems clearer and more compact than ever, some scathing and others comedic, some based on life stories and others built on puns. The first section is an examination of beauty divorced from utility, the second a characteristically witty, arresting portrait of young people in acts of exploration. In the former, Powell confronts physical and emotional environments in the kinds of translucent lyrics that have gained him critical appreciation and a reputation for accessibility.
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*Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry*
I have this rearrangement to make:
symbolic death, my backward glance.
The way the past is a kind of future
leaning against the sporty hood.
—from "Bugcatching at Twilight"