Perhaps it was that sense of loss that sent her out searching for different kinds of beech trees, that sent her rooting around in the old books collecting lore and the attempts at early science, that forced her to learn everything she could about these trees.
With all the weight of future uncertainties — predictions of ever greater social despair, economic collapse, another world war, concerns for the end of natural resources and therefore the wildernesses that sustain all of us — Dan Gerber’s Particles: New and Selected Poems is a deeply human meditation more timely and timeless than could have ever imagined.
Think of Shapero instead as a kind of poetic Louis C.K. — the misery is part of the act. Yes, you’re supposed to laugh: “All I have coming in this / world is a joke that hits me later.” And like the best stand-up comedy routines, her poems have solid opening hooks, a finely wrought structure, and a resonance, a truth, beyond what is directly expressed.