The Most Charming Creatures

Poems

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Pub Date 20 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 02 May 2022

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Description

With uncanny wit, inventive beauty, and numinous surprise, The Most Charming Creatures explores the contemporary and its language, considering our wonder, sorrow, bewilderment, anxiety, and tenderness. While these poems energize and connect and “turn the paren-/theses inside out so that/we mean everything,” they are also alive to the alluring complicity of language and its duplicity and deceptions. “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but/while we watch.”


A follow-up to the award-winning author’s acclaimed selected poems, this new collection continues Barwin’s examination of the possibilities of the poem: a celebration, a story, an investigation, a riff, a word machine, a parable, a transformation. But what are the “most charming creatures” of the title? In 1862, scientific illustrator Ernst Haeckel termed radiolarians (ancient single-celled organisms with mineral skeletons) “the most charming creatures,” but here Barwin turns the microscope around to consider something just as strange and mysterious: language, our culture, and the self. From microorganisms, onion rings, grief, and Gerard Manley Hopkins to beetles, neoliberalism, sandwiches, Martin Luther, and stand-up comedy, he offers: “it’s a miracle that we’ve survived/it’s a miracle that we’ve survived at all.”

With uncanny wit, inventive beauty, and numinous surprise, The Most Charming Creatures explores the contemporary and its language, considering our wonder, sorrow, bewilderment, anxiety, and...


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ISBN 9781770416611
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