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A wonderful example of the poets ability to satisfy readers and anticipate their thoughts.Elizabeth Lund, Washington PostIn his sixteenth collection, Stephen Dunn continues to bring his imagination and intelligence to what Wallace Stevens calls the problems of the normal, which of course pervade most of our lives. The poem Dont Do That opens with the lines: It was bring-your-own if you wanted anything / hard, so I brought Johnnie Walker Red / along with some resentment Id held in / for a few weeks. In other poems, Dunn contemplates his own mortality, echoing YeatsThat is no country for old men / cadenced everything I saidonly to discover hes joined their ranks. In The Writer of Nudes his speaker is in search of the bodys grammar but tells his models, Dont expect to see yourself as other / than I see you. Full of grace, wit, humor, and masterful precision, the poems in Here and Now attest to the contradictions we live with in the here and now. Political and metaphysical, these astonishing poems remind us of the essential human comedy of getting through each day.
from The House on the Hill
. . . from out of the fog,
a large, welcoming house would emerge
made out of invention and surprise.
No things without ideas! you'd shout,
and the doors would open,
and the echoes would cascade down
to the valleys and the faraway towns.
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