by Kevin Prufer
The poems in National Anthem, the fourth collection of poetry from critically-acclaimed poet and critic Kevin Prufer, are finely-studied short films about America in the 21st century. Set in an apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic world that is disturbing because it is uncannily familiar, National Anthem chronicles the aftermath of the failure of imperial vision. Allowing Rome...more
Paperback, 82 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Four Way Books
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Prufer revisits many of the themes in Fallen from a Chariot, his previous volume, but this time the voice calls overwhelmingly for deliverance from the horrors of the empire and from personal loss. The title poem addresses Americans' uber-consumerism, and piled on the numerous poems of war and death, our "noble" notions of adopting (read "saving") foreign children, ignoring the climate shift, etc., and the repeated images of snow and freeze and needles and pills, I would have to say the anthem i...more
In the long tradition of "America singing" Prufer's sometimes ironic, always beautifully lyric work is a startling and unique voice. He's managed not to fall into the conversational syntax and superficial pop culture set of images that would suggest (merely) a hip self-awareness. The result instead is a book of beauty that evokes the largest themes on our political and cultural landscapes. Favorites include: "A History of the American West"; "The Excavation of the Children of the Czar"; "A Boy L...more
This collection of poetry is the best collection of poems I've read in a while. I am so jealous of the line, the subject matter, the beauty...the way the poet makes the reader go along for the ride no matter the harshness of the subject matter. A must read. Definitely adding this to my favorites list.