The King's Question (Paperback)
Graywolf Press, 9781555975111, 80pp.
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Brian Culhane's deeply felt and accomplished debut, winner of the poetry foundation's Emily Dickinson First Book Award
Let just one of those quicksilver hours be returned to me,
With my knowledge now of the world, and not a boy's,
With all that I have become a lighted room. One hour
To ask the question that burned, once, in a King's throat.
—from "The King's Question"
In the poet Brian Culhane's The King's Question, fragments of the ancient past emerge from contemporary life to reveal rich and resonant correspondences. So the glow of a writer's desk lamp evokes the torchlight of Viking raiders at Lindisfarne; a father's scattered library summons the lost Library of Alexandria; the voice of a psychotherapist echoes the murmur of the Delphic oracle. With skilled craft, erudition, and daring intelligence, Culhane grapples with profound questions of time and existence, while the gods, as always, deny any certitude.
Selected by the Poetry Foundation from more than 1,600 submissions, The King's Question is the winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award, which recognizes an American poet over the age of fifty who has yet to publish a book of poetry.