The poems are strong, impressive, learned without needing to be scholarly; loving and often surprising in the way they pull a conclusion out of darkness.… The work is very rich and diverse, although [he] keeps to his style faithfully.… [His] style is there, very solid—and bless it!… Wonderfully concise bringing together of wonder, closeness and immense distances!
I love the sweet clarity of [his] lines, their poise, their exact just-enoughness.… And here’s blessings for [his] political poems, the Whitmanesque celebration of ‘Shock and Awe,’ the best response to atrocity, yes, is to celebrate life in the face of it—, and that memorable line, which is the clearest definition of our difference as a species: ‘the only animal that runs towards fire.’
Poetry too good to be gulped, it is to be relished, to be read slowly and many times. I am so happy to own this beautiful collection!… What did Thoreau say about the cost of any great work, that it cost a lifetime? It’s an extraordinary lifetime that we feel in this book.… What tremendous tact [his] poems all show, never a word too much, nothing insisted on, a light touch that looks easy, but, I think, takes tremendous art to achieve.
A handsome, comprehensive, moving book.
[Braun’s] sensibility is a remarkable alert one. I find myself reading poems again and again as they keep coming to life in new ways.
An accumulation of resonances…delicious lineation…how many of these poems are ars poeticae. Or how many slip through a brilliantly quiet image, from the outer world to the inner.… Profound thanks to [this] mercurial poet who conjured ‘unimagined joy’ in this ‘unprepossessing wilderness.’