What Can Poetry Do? (Sun Bear by Matthew Zapruder)

Sun Bear by M. ZapruderIs a question posed in the title of a poem in Matthew Zapruder’s newest collection, Sun Bear (Copper Canyon 2014). And although the question is already a kind of defeat—Nothing seems to be the initial answer—Zapruder’s poems turn resignation into its own kind of full-blooded wisdom, where the speaker yet feels “a peace I am happy / I will never be able to explain.” Throughout, the simplicity of the diction, the fleetness of the short lines, and the understated approach—which makes occasion of the incidental and domestic (say, the discovery of a dead spider on a windowsill, or a can of mushroom soup)—all lead Zapruder’s thoughtful, pinging speaker from meditation to wistful meditation.



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