The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell

It is fitting that April is the month of poetry, when poems burst out of dormant minds and flower our consciousness. A celebration of words, a celebration of life. Poetry feels to me like a first language, when atomic particles of words fuse into strings of meaning and we know at once that something has happened.  Poetry changes you, and the book of poetry that most changed me was Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, published in 1971. Kinnell’s poems are felt more than read, the observations of a new father who realizes at once the profound gravity of bringing forth new life, life that is at once fierce and fragile. Life that is dependent on the love and promises of others, often flawed humans. It is a work of all seasons, of Hen Flowers and Aquarian Stars, each poem a “concert of one” sent out to the universe until it falls in your ear, and takes root.

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