Words "don't hold the world," writes Michael Kenyon in LAMB, "because we/ absorb the shallow fast first meaning." In its line-by-line leaping precision, in the carefully detailed manyness of its particulars, in its expansive, intricate, overarching design, LAMB refutes that laxity. Kenyon combs through time, history, identity, passionately seeking "something lost." LAMB is a long poem of potent lyricism. It enacts what Galway Kinnell says of poetry, that it "sings past even the sadness that begins it." Singing through, Kenyon shapes a resonant world that is representative and yet very much his own.
In his latest collection, a woman named Astatine, named after a radioactive element whose isotopes endure half-lives of mere seconds, haunts the poet, much like Dante's Beatrice. Like Brock's Everyone is C02, Kenyon uses parts of the earth and the ideas behind scientific elements to weave rumination on the nature of life. By using surprising subject matter, both collections have keen emotional depth and insight through unexpected and lyrical styles.