From the personal lyrics of solitude and loss to “Being Serious,” the long poem that concludes Hard Night, Christian Wiman’s poems examine emotions clearly, without sentimentality. A profound reverence for form and passion for poetry are evident in these artfully shaped poems that contain and find meaning in the unwieldy and inexplicable. As he did in his role as editor of Poetry, Wiman makes intellectually and emotionally engaged writing accessible to an expanding audience of readers.
“Wiman’s poems are the image of a deep longing which plays itself out as a dialectic between form and experience; they allow him to express a truth which is not necessarily oppositional but multiple, many-sided.” —Alsop Review
“A poet we will reckon with over time.” —Kirkus Reviews
“At a time when many poets are using fragmentation and collage as their modus operandi, Wiman is a patient master of tradition: polishing each word, moving each poem coherently from beginning to end by an unfractured, emotional logic.” —San Jose Mercury News
“In his second collection, Wiman… presents poems that are unusually welcoming in their sensuous evocation of the sounds and sights of everyday life and the ambience of dreams and reveries. Equally adept in writing formally and in free verse, Wiman, as much a storyteller as a lyric poet, revels in the musicality of language, orchestrating the staccato rhythms of consonants and the chiming and rhyming of vowels. His enticing poems glint with mischievous humor, a keen sensitivity to the weather of landscapes and mindscapes, and a frank fascination with age, death, and the struggle to convince oneself that life has meaning.” —Booklist