Saturday, June 2, 2012

Apocalyptic Poetry Books

In my internet wandering, I find the usual interesting list of apocalyptic novels.  Or maybe I should say unusual, because it did not list all the usual suspects.  It noted a book of poetry

Ten Great Novels of the Apocalypse
Kevin Brockmeir, Oxford American, 27 August 2010

And here, for good measure, is one last book, which missed the above list only because it is not a novel: National Anthem by Kevin Prufer (apocalypse by enjambment): This is the one (good) post-apocalyptic poetry collection I know. There are no hands rising from the soil here, no horror-movie contrivances, but even the most naturalistic poems seem touched with a terrible wreckage, as if everything were occurring after the world had been torn to pieces. The opening lines of "We Wanted to Find America" are representative of the book's tone of frightening moss-lit elegy:

National Anthem, Kevin Pruffer, Four Way, 2008,

Apocalypse (opening lines)

Around that time, the city grew quiet.

You said Don’t hurt me and I said If I was going to hurt you I’d have done it already.

We passed a dying store with gem-like windows.  A door that banged in the wind. You said Let me go.

As in a film of the apocalypse, a breath of newspapers  blew past us.

I won’t hurt you, I said.

A car expired in the street so I looked inside but there was nothing to eat.

The moon grew like an empire, then fell like a bomb.

So I said it was an excellent night for a walk and we would find food in the dying city and take it back to share with the others, who were hungry…..

No comments: