Synopses & Reviews
"In a time of war, dirty air, missile worship when all oracles seem silenced, from every eco-lyric pore these fine auroras of This Connection of Everyone With Lungs
have been streaming. Registering 9/11 as cellular rupture, this is a work of full globality which redeems our time, makes us remember all that poetry is capable of as form, frame, syntax linking air, earth, lung; what Emerson meant by lyric language as nothing less than externalization of planet's soul."Rob Wilson, author of Waking in Seoul
"By listing, by naming, the atrocitiesthe harrowing stats, the scary particularsin our world-at-endless-warwe might at least exert control over our sanity and extend our mind and compassion to others. It is a connected universe as Spahr so forcefully and powerfully reminds us. This Connection of Everyone with Lungs is a sustained and anaphoric meditation, a catharsis for our predicament."Anne Waldman
"Innovative, incantatory, politically charged and decidedly accessible, Spahr's new volume consists of two linked prose poems, 'Poem Written After Sept. 11, 2001' and the longer, more ambitious 'Poem Written from November 30, 2002 to March 27, 2003.' Both efforts imagine contemporary America ('how lovely and how doomed') as a polity nearly (but not quite) capable of collective action; as just one part of an interconnected globe; and as a place of isolated citizens, trying or failing to work together, especially in the protests that preceded and failed to prevent the war in Iraq. Like Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely, Spahr's work suggests a wartime diary, though it's a diary that incorporates many rhetorical devices (anaphora, prosopopoeia, quasi-Homeric lists), along with many snippets from the daily news. In addition to two prior volumes of poetry, Spahr (Response) has published an influential critical study (Everybody's Autonomy) and co-edits a prominent journal, Chain, devoted to international mixed-genre writing. The openness, and the fire, Chain readers cherish also informs Spahr's smart, angry poetic prose. 'I speak of those dead in other parts of the world who go unreported,' Spahr insists, and 'of those moments when we do not understand why we must remain separated.' Addressing her readers as 'Beloveds,' Spahr returns over and over to 'the unanswerable questions of political responsibility.' If she finds few answers, she certainly knows how to ask. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Spahr's sprawling paean to humankind is by turns spiritual and political, philosophical and practical. Few books attempt this sort of range, and fewer still succeed as dramatically as does this one. . . . Those who worry that contemporary poetry has lowered its sights from the peaks of previous epochs—opting for form and technique over the grandeur of the human imagination—can read this book and be heartened.”
Part planetary love poem, part 24/7 news flash, the hypnotic poems of This Connection of Everyone with Lungs wrap with equal, angular grace around lovers and battleships. These poems hear the tracer fire in a bird's song and capture cell division and troop deployments in the same expansive thought. They move through concentric levels of association and embrace from the space between the hands to the mesosphere and back againtouching everything in between. The book's focus shifts between local and global, public and private, individual and social. Everything gets in: through all five senses, through windows, between your sheets, under your skin.
About the Author
Juliana Spahr is a poet, critic, and editor. Among her books of poems are Fuck YouAlohaI Love You and Response, winner of the National Poetry Series Award. She coedits the international arts journal Chain with Jena Osman.
Table of Contents
Poem Written after September 11, 2001
Poem Written from November 30, 2002, to March 27, 2003