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The Lights by Ben Lerner

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From the celebrated author of The Topeka School, a collection of poetry that is dazzlingly intelligent, moving and speaks directly to our complex times. The Lights is a constellation of verse and prose, voice memos and vignettes, songs and silences, that brings the personal and the collective into startling relation. These are poems at once alive to the forces that shape human society and to the rhythms of the natural world, to the power of new technologies and the wonder of our timeless planet.

Sometimes the scale is intimate and quiet and sometimes the poems are sweeping, Orphic experiments in the "collectivization of feeling": "I want everybody out there to sing along, even the stones."

Written over a span of fifteen years, The Lights records the pleasures, risks, and absurdities of making art and family and meaning against a backdrop of interlocking, accelerating crises. And, even while alert to the darkness, it is the light in the book that remains, in dusk, in images from space, in old poems, in power cuts, in the flickering connections between people. From one of the most celebrated writers of his generation, the poems in this collection come to us as beacons, illuminating new possibilities of thought and feeling.

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