POETRY

Hosts and Guests

Princeton Univ. Sept. 2020. 96p. ISBN 9780691203546. $45.
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Klug, a United Church of Christ–Congregationalist minister, and the author of Anyone and Rude Woods (a free adaptation of Vergil’s Eclogues) here creates a kind of continuing testimony in verse embracing the broad difficulties of our times. Intelligent, wry, learned, and at times witty, Klug is a skilled and compassionate observer, savoring, in one poem of distracted desire, fog’s “map of faded lessons.” He’s also broadminded enough to slip easily from St. Augustine to Pokémon GO. In the works’ longest sequence, “First Lent in California,” the poet moves through both distant and recent memory, through remembered silence to the articulation of poetry itself toward a more considered silence again, wondering “which way that we turn/ faces our life?”
VERDICT Like award-wining poet Christian Wiman, Klug bears witness to the fruitful cross-pollinations of contemporary poetry and contemporary religious faith, and like Wiman, he is worth watching. This new collection will reward attentive readers, regardless of their religious beliefs.

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