The Fact of the Matter
In this highly cultivated and intricately crafted collection, Sally Keith shows the self as a crucible of force—that which compels us to exert ourselves upon the world, and meanwhile renders us vulnerable to it.
Moving from the mundane to the profound, first through observation of fact and matter, then shifting perspective, engaging a deeper sense of self, these poems reimagine things great and small. Force by which a line unfurls—as in Robert Smithson’s colossal earthwork Spiral Jetty—or leads with forward motion—a train hurdling along the west-reaching railroad, or Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic reels charting animal and human locomotion. With poems remarkable in their clarity and captivating in their matter-of-factness, Keith examines the impossible and inevitable privacy of being a person in the world, meanwhile negotiating an inexorable pull—one we alternately try and fail to resist—toward the places we call home.