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Any Song Will Do, Red Mountain, 89 pp., 2019

$19.95 $15.00

Any Song Will Do, New and Selected Later Poems, picks up where his last book, Previous Lives, left off in its retrospective of over 40 years of poetry writing. Previously uncollected newer poems comprise over a third of the book; the rest are selected from four of his books published since 2012. The title is derived from a line in a poem that celebrates the readiness of the Irish to burst into song or story. Just so, this highly musical poet is ever-attuned to possible poem grist. Included are ruminations on origins, poems on nature’s grace and beauty, elegies, meditations on transience, praise for the odd and strange, and shamings of outrageous things. Levering’s mastery of varied poetical voices and rhetorical strategies is abundant here. The introduction explains the author’s views on the “four feet” of his poetic horse: metaphor, music, invention, and sympathy.

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Any Song Will Do, New and Selected Later Poems, picks up where his last book, Previous Lives, left off in its retrospective of over 40 years of poetry writing. Previously uncollected newer poems comprise over a third of the book; the rest are selected from four of his books published since 2012. The title is derived from a line in a poem that celebrates the readiness of the Irish to burst into song or story. Just so, this highly musical poet is ever-attuned to possible poem grist. Included are ruminations on origins, poems on nature’s grace and beauty, elegies, meditations on transience, praise for the odd and strange, and shamings of outrageous things. Levering’s mastery of varied poetical voices and rhetorical strategies is abundant here. The introduction explains the author’s views on the “four feet” of his poetic horse: metaphor, music, invention, and sympathy.