On September 20, 2010, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 males and started what might turn into the most important oil spill ever in US waters. On August 29, 2005, typhoon Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, resulting in a dying toll that remains unconfirmed. And in April 2014, the Flint water problem all started, exposing millions of individuals to lead-contaminated ingesting water. this can be the litany of our time—and those are the occasions that Rebecca Dunham strains, passionately and brilliantly, in Cold Pastoral.
In poems that contain interviews and excerpts from govt files and different sources—poems that undertake the pastoral and elegiac traditions in a panorama the place “I can’t see the insects; I don’t pay attention the birds”—Dunham invokes the poet as ethical witness. “I owe him,” she writes of 1 guy tormented by the oil spill, “must study, finally, tips to look.” this is often the realm she exhibits us, with out sentiment and with well-merited good looks: Oysters decimated by means of freshwater unlock. Tarballs floating within the Gulf of Mexico. A hungry mom and her young children in a supermarket. Clouds of insecticides. 11 males useless. A silent spring.
Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a set that finds what poetry can—and, might be, should—be, reflecting ourselves and our global again with stunning clarity.