This collection, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, opens with “Theories of Time and Space,” a poem that alerts the reader to the territory under artistic surveillance. It begins with the lines: “You can get there from here, though / there’s no going home.
These are difficult times for defenders of liberty. With the ironically named Patriot Act (whose name is an acronym for Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), law enforcement agencies have gained greatly increased powers to search telephone and e-mail communications without a warrant.
When I carried this book into a gas-station diner I saw the waitress look at the title and roll her eyes. I turned the book over. But was I ashamed of the gospel? Well, of course not—so I turned its face up again, wondering what else might happen.