Today's poem is "The Sea"
from "Borges" and Other Sonnets

Truman State University Press

William Baer's first collection of poetry, The Unfortunates, won the T. S. Eliot Prize. His work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Chariton Review, New Criterion, Southern Review, Hudson Review, and American Scholar. He is the founding editor of The Formalist, the poetry editor for Crisis, and the director of the Richard Wilbur Poetry Series. His other books are Conversations with Derek Walcott and Elia Kazan: Interviews.

About "Borges" and Other Sonnets:

""Borges" and Other Sonnets will come to be identified as one of the spearhead books of the new literary movement being fostered by the American sonnet. William Baer's keen sense of history and popular culture gives his vernacular style an authority that excites as it interests. His wide range of themes accommodates sonnet sequences, as well as individual sonnets of striking episodic force. The sonnet, as we know, rewards technique, and Baer's lyrical deftness handles the "argument" of sonnetry and the "grammar" of its structure with assured control, and a complete absence of rotundity, that great sin of all fixed forms. Even the variety of his pieces is clearly in the grand tradition, as a look at some of the titles will show: "Adam" "Job," "Crime Scene," "Pumpkin," "Secret Police," "Snowflake," and so on. William Baer has given us a collection of fifty-five sonnets that succeeds in being urgent, amusing, instructive, and moving—a heady mix."
—Felix Stefanile

"William Baer's new poetry collection is the most significant book of sonnets since Edna St. VIncent Millay's Fatal Interview more than seventy years ago. And the comparison is apt: like Millay before him, Baer has resuscitated the tradition of the disciplined sonnet in a time of free verse assertion—and he has done so by voicing serious cultural themes and subjects within the strictures of the form. Like other affecting modern sonnets (Hardy's "Hap," Yeat's "Leda," Frost's "Design," and Nemerov's "Two Girls"), Baer's poems place us in focused, consequential moments and force us to ponder eternal truths. The various and unforgettable poems in "Borges" and Other Sonnets should be read as the logical continuum of those earlier masterpieces of the form."
—Samuel Maio

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