The twenty-nine poems in this, Holden’s seventh poetry collection, are
mainly epistemological, balancing adult desire against adult knowledge,
dramatizing with painful accuracy the inevitable dissonance.
“The Sublime embodies a poetry that is personal and public, and shows
through clear-cut imagery how varied our imagined and actual lives are.
Everything seems to be woven into this ambitious collection: love, war,
divorce, fear, anger, doubt, grace, beauty, terror, popular culture,
nature. This poetry challenges us to remain (or become) whole in an
increasingly fragmented world.” —Yusef Komunyakaa, judge
I’m not sure when it was
I began to understand
the world’s orders to us are inherently
contradictory. That to be adult
well is to live naively, to live
as though you didn’t know you’re going to die,
make love to cramped ecstatic paradox.
Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, Yusef Komunyakaa, Judge.