Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (Ferry)

At first, I was going to go the obvious route and suggest that the title of this collection reflected my reaction to it. But I slowly found my way in, thanks to the translations of familiar poems as well what was for me, the unique experience of reading Ferry’s set of poems in response to Arthur Gold’s poems.

My favorites came late in this collection. (And I was grateful for the length of the collection. It’s quite hard to pay the prices poetry demands when collections often top out at 60 pages.) I recommend “That Now are Wild and Do Not Remember” ( and “Untitled Dream Poem.” But “Resemblance,” with the lines below, is the one I’ll return to most:

Is it because there is a silence that we / Are all of us forbidden to cross, not only / The silence that divides the dead from the living, / But, antecedent to that, is it the silence / There is between the living and the living, / Unable to reach across that silence through / The baffling light there always is between us?

Ferry’s writing is precise and rewards careful attention.


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