I’m terribly sorry but I do not see the following as Pulitzer worthy or Pulitzer earning lines:

We are here for what amounts to a few hours,

                                               a day at most.

We feel around making sense of the terrain,

                                               our own new limbs,

Bumping up against a herd of bodies

                                               until one becomes home.

Moments sweep past. The grass bends

                                               then learns again to stand.

I do not see this poet or her work.  I cannot call it art– it relies too much on unmemorable speech, conceits/conventions, elevation of that which does not warrant elevation.

I look further, thinking I’m wrong.

Perhaps the great error is believing
we’re alone,
That the others have come and gone —
a momentary blip —
When all along, space might be choc-full of traffic,
Bursting at the seams with energy we neither feel
Nor see, flush against us, living, dying, deciding,
Setting solid feet down on planets everywhere,
Bowing to the great stars that command, pitching stones
At whatever are their moons. They live wondering
If they are the only ones, knowing only the wish to know,
And the great black distance they — we
— flicker in.

I had hoped to be ravished by this lauded collection– but, no.  Do these lines stop time with their beauty?  Do they constrict the throat?

I am too aware of a poet writing a poem conscious of the fact that she wishes to say, must say something of significance that illuminates the mystery.  But where is the passion, the lyricism passion informs?  Where is stark raving virtuosity?  I don’t see it.  Why on earth, or on Mars, then, is it in The New Yorker? Perhaps envy has rendered me blind.  Or perhaps I am right!

For what in this writer’s work strikes at the heart?  I cannot say.  I can only say that in my view several independent publishers have stooped to bringing out work that hangs merely on the name of the moment, and is not poetry in that it fulfills and stupefies,  and that the Pulitzer Committee must be collectively soldiering on under the great burden of spiritual menopause.

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