Thursday, April 15, 2010
paul guest, donald justice, madeline defree and others on NPR
The poems in Paul Guest's My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge are astounding and unforgettable. They all reflect -- either obviously or more subtly -- a central fact of the author's life: a bicycle accident at age 12 left him permanently paralyzed. The power of the poems comes from the accumulation of detail. As he explores his feelings at forever being set apart from those who are able to move their bodies at will, Guest's tone is colored by anger and bitterness, and frequently by a sadness so deep and pervasive that his poems are often literally painful to read.