“Near, in the aortic arch, / in the light-blood: / the light-word.” To me, this is the most significant literary event of the last decade. The collected later poems of Paul Celan is absolutely indispensible for any lover of language. Recently, I heard Joris read one of his own poems, saying “[Celan] spoke through me.” As an accomplished poet himself, Joris is somehow able to breathe life into Celan’s idiosyncratic speech, turning it both palpable and powerful for every English reader.
I am still searching for the words to qualify this book. The unutterable history it represents. The documentation and imagination in Suck on the Marrow is riveting. Dungy is a poet of the highest order, one who stiches the history of a country that, in some ways, still refuses to piece together its nightmares.