With Some Luck and More Practice

What if you woke up one morning and lost faith in the power of words to describe your world? What if your own most heartfelt admissions sounded, to you, like cheap self-deceptions, illusions, slogans anyone could use? What if you were a poet of supreme concision — having learned much from Emily Dickinson — and you wanted to make vivid, bitter poems from that anxious and baffling predicament?

You would, with some luck and more practice, be Rae Armantrout…

Stephen Burt, New York Times review of Rae Armantrout’s Next Life

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