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AGNI 21

Contents

Fiction

Love is the Crooked Thing
Rough-and-Tumble Mercies

Essays

James Wright’s “Hammock”: A Sounding

Poetry

William Rimmer: “Flight and Pursuit”
The Clergyman’s Wife Composes a Spring Letter
Physics
The Birth of Time
Toy Soldiers
Details
Driving the County Blacktop
The Waves at Matsushima
What the Right Hand Gives, the Left Takes Away
Parts Do Not Make a Whole
The Green House
Sentence 3
Silver Lake
The Threshold for the Definition of “Numinous” is a Variable
The Garden of Acclimatization
from Pond Subjects: 3. Fjord, 4. High School, 5. Edmunds!—, 6. Ishmael, 8. Narcissus, 13. Letter to My Brother, 16. Before Lauds
Problem Solving
Babies
The Air of Cathedrals
Anglian Music
The Rivers of England
The Pilot’s Daughter
Introduction to This Issue’s Poetry
Poem with Afternoon Light
Berlin Metro
My Lord
Translated from the Russian by Ilya Nykin and Pamela White Hadas
Leningrad Triptych
Translated from the Russian by Ilya Nykin and Pamela White Hadas
Britons Leaving France
The Fall (Bababadalgharag., etc.)
The String Quartet of the Birds
Unintentional Lullaby
The Driver Kept on Going
In Exile
Translated from the Arabic by Desmond O’Grady
Poem After Several Images in Calvino
August: Blues
Intaglio
Death: A Betrothal
Spring Afternoon
Simple Sums
Vocation
Varieties of Religious Experience
A Weekend at the Last Resort
Exile’s Matins
Books by Nobody
Orchard
My Old Man
An Art of Remoteness
AGNI 21

Founder Askold Melnyczuk opens AGNI 21—an emphatically Whitmanesque issue—by stressing the role and responsibility of the poet, particularly in relation to the ongoing mystery of the American experiment. The poet must once again fuse “the material world, that of the body,” with “the spiritual world, that of the word.” This cannot be done purely through adherence to the conventions of technique. It requires imagination and careful perception, as found here in the poems of Agha Shahid Ali, Albert Goldbarth, Wayne Koestenbaum, Irina Ratushinskaya, Dick Allen, Rosanna Warren, and many others. Fiction by Lee Abbott and Sharon Sheehe Stark balance against an essay in which Sven Birkerts untangles the knots in James Wright’s “Hammock.”

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