Fall moving into Boston, and along with the up-and-down ALCS, which has more or less mesmerized our household-- game six is tonight!-- we've had a series of misty days: the weather hasn't changed my reading habits much, but it has helped me pick a poem from Laura Kasischke's new book, on which more below the fold.


I'll have more to say about it elsewhere (not here), I hope, in a month or two, where with luck I'll be able to explain (I've been trying to articulate it for a few years now) how her irregular rhymes and clustered enjambments and leitmotifs work.
Here and now I'll just say that it looks to me like one of the three or four books of the year-- you'll like it, certainly, if you liked her last one, or if you liked her breakthrough book of ten years ago-- I also recommend her young adult novel.
Here's the fog-covered last half of her new poem "Fashion Victim"-- she's been ordering "clothes... from catalogues," and now
...They arrive
in long white boxes and in whispers
on the porch, like winter. Soon
there will be nothing but obscurity
as far as the eye can see. Until
there's only one leaf left
clinging to one tree. Until, like
my father over there in his chair, my
clothes are how you know it's me.

Originally Published: October 20th, 2007

Stephanie (also Steph; formerly Stephen) Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. In 2012, the New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation.” Burt grew up around Washington, DC and earned a BA from Harvard and PhD from Yale. She has published four collections of poems: Advice...

  1. October 21, 2007
     Jenny Browne

    Thanks for writing about Kasischke's work. I second that Lilies Without is brilliant!
    I recently heard her read from the book and the story behind the poem you
    posted -it's her version of the poem one must write while in residence at Robert Frost's
    place- is near as wonderful as the poem. Looking forward to hearing more about
    how and why you think her work does what it does so well.