Writers Writing Dying

The latest collection by C.K. Williams confronts death and desire with the poet's typical wit and candor. The poems meditate on past loves, the bravado that comes with being young, and the body in many incarnations.

Besides taking on the complexities of aging and the fond reflection of youth, there are also several poems woven throughout the collection that are centered on reading and writing. In "Draft 23," Williams writes, "Between scribble and slash—are we trying to change the world by changing the words?" In the book's title poem, Williams writes: "Think, write, write, think; just keep galloping faster and you won't even notice you're dead." W.H. Auden, Basho, and W.B. Yeats are only a few writers of many that make cameos in the poems.

Also worth noting is that fans of the poet's characteristically long lines may be surprised to see several poems in this collection that take on a shorter form.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.