Habitat offers an opportunity to trace a remarkable poetic career. In their richly various shapes, colors, textures, and strategies, Galvin’s poems bear witness to matters both joyful and intractable.
Over the past four decades, in an era deeply suspicious of the relationship between language and external reality, Brendan Galvin has been quietly reminding us that the best poetry can deepen our understanding of the natural world and of each other. “You are tired of living when you’re tired of us,” he imagines a field of potatoes saying in one poem. And, indeed, if the earthy and local poems of this volume could speak in one voice, they would be making the same claim to past and future readers.