Dara Wier's intense and original poems are wonderfully selected for this collection, which gathers work published from 1977 to 2006. Her poems often move by accrual and accrue insights and ironies to reach moments of surprising knowledge and vision. Wier's surreal is a clearer mirror than most straight-on description or linear narrative. According to the Harvard Review, her poems recall "the philosophical comedy of Wallace Stevens and Wislawa Szymborska." Wier is heady but grounded, deep and friendly. In "Attitude of Rags" Wier writes:
It felt like a story sorry it'd lost all its sentences,
Like a sentence looking for its syntax.
All of the words had homeless, unemployed, orphan
Written all over their faces.
One can recognize the darkness here, just as we are grateful for Wier's sentences, syntax, and words. Her directed and charged language is a reminder of how vital and vivid poetry can be.
This book review originally appeared in American Poets.