A Several World

Longlist, National Book Awards 2014 for Poetry

A Several World, by Brian Blanchfield
ISBN 9781937658175
Nightboat Books
Brian Blanchfield
Brian Blanchfield

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As in the title phrase—borrowed from a seventeenth-century poem by Robert Herrick in which “several” is used to individuate– questions of singularity and the plural, of subjectivity and the collective, pervade this dream-quick poetry. In A Several World there are glimpses of an “us down here”—in a city state, in a valley town, in an open clearing, in the understory—and, by various projections, there is frequent attainment of an aerial vantage, a supervisory perspective. The wish to be out of the weeds, to imagine one can see the thing in whole, and, conversely, the wish to be overseen, even to be overlooked, further animate the poetic shuttling between late pastoral and conceptual project.