What Goes on

What Goes on Cover

What Goes on

Selected & New Poems: 1995-2009

By Stephen Dunn

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393067750, 203pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2009


"Good poems are triumphs over the unlikely," Stephen Dunn says. "They make us pay attention in new ways." In his second new and selected collection, Dunn subtly enlarges our sense of possibility. His new poems, suffused with affection and rue for our world, occasionally address the metaphysical, as in these lines

from Talk to God Ease into your misgivingsAsk him if in his weaknesshe was ever responsiblefor a pettiness some weather, say, brought in to show who's bosswhen no one seemed sufficiently movedby a sunset or the shape of an egg.Ask him if when he gave us desirehe had underestimated its power.