“Under the Sign” by Ann Lauterbach

under-the-signAt the core of Under the Sign, Ann Lauterbach’s ninth poetry collection, is a multitudinous us manqué, a wayward Whitmanic we. As she has throughout her exacting oeuvre, a body of work that includes abundant criticism and collaborations with artists, Lauterbach maintains a vigilance for others and other things so consistently curious as to define a poetics of radical, plural caring: “For to make something,” she writes, “is to care for it.” Lauterbach’s poetry is not hobbled—or hobgoblined—by this consistent emphasis on caring; it is enlarged and opened up by it. For almost four decades, she has kept asking, in poem after allusive poem, how wisdom arrives, how senses make sense, how art matters and happens—and what love, and loss, have to do with it.

Posing and composing her poems’ searching questions, Lauterbach hazards some answers. Her partial, even haphazard, responses contain and address our shifting, provisional, accident-prone reality; her impartial, open-ended responses clear the air for further wondering. Lauterbach believes such detached “whole fragments” are worth listening to and waiting for, worth tending. By definition and by design, they cannot wholly satisfy us or the poet, so she must continue her inquiry, the expansive opening up that is her iterated task.

Read the complete review


Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s