Grove. Sept. 2018. 176p. ISBN 9780802128508. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802146366. POETRY
"What's the use of being famous," Myles asks at the end of "You," a poem midway through this new collection, which includes a long-form meditation or two on the subject. There's an "acceptance speech" marking the successful end of a decades-long campaign for the U.S. presidency, for instance, and the recounting of a talk Myles gave at the Shaker Museum Feminine Mystique conference in 2017. For a well-known poet nearing 70, fame is a not an unreasonable topic, and it's considered here from many angles. The style here mashes politics writ large (Comey, Trump, the Catholic Church, Palestinian sovereignty, civil/women's/gay rights) and things more intimate (beloved dogs, the last days of Myles's mother), with a restless Myles at the center of everything—incanting in a loud and clear voice: "I think I'm kind of Morissey/ don't you/ though his sweatshirt// wouldn't be so/ cheap/ though he'd/ probably wish/ that it/ was. It's kind of impossible/ to be famous/ and not have /beautiful things./ People always give you their best/…"
VERDICT Get in the car and go for a ride with Myles. You'll be entertained—never having to guess what the poet is thinking or where you're being taken.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing