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This is a book unlike any other first book I have read in that it is whole, fully realized. It’s also tough, and funny, without a peep of sappiness. This is a poet who notices deeply, brilliantly, and with a heart as big as a boulder. Read this book!
The language of Rodger LeGrand’s poetry moves from surprise to surprise, just as the poems themselves in his book Millions of Ravenous Creatures move from surprise to surprise. This is a good thing. Always there is a shuffling between clarity and mystery, precision and ambiguity, humor and darkness as he works through the conundrums of how we live and how we might live better—not in terms of money, though that would be nice, but metaphysically, or, more simply, basic kindness in a world where kindness is too often a rarity. This is a fine book and you should buy it.
‘The more I let go, the more I realize/how tightly I’ve been holding on’ Rodger LeGrand says in one of the poems in his new book, Millions of Ravenous Creatures, and in a sense, the entire collection is a journey to discover how deep our affiliation with the world might be, and whether too tight a hold on it might lead to dissatisfactions. The poems’ subjects range from the grandly cosmological to the acutely domestic and diurnal, but they always keep in mind how we might go about finding our place in the scheme of things, both psychically and spiritually. Though the world might sometimes provoke us to anger or fear, or send us reeling into helplessness and depression, or sunder us with its insouciance, still, these poems suggest, there is balm in our lives to soothe and revive, and that balm is what we call love, love in the presence of the other and the beloved, which makes us, finally, more than what we are.