In Patrick Morrissey’s World Music, the poet turns the crank on the machine made of words to reveal it as a music box. Its artful tune accompanies pictures of a shifting world, with city scenes of New York and Chicago, with garbage trucks in alleys and power lines crossing a view of the sky, and with waves crashing on the limestone blocks at Promontory Point. These are poems of eye, ear, and mind harmonizing their frequencies in tune with the nature of an urban world observed in radiant gist and luminous detail.
“These poems are small in scale, modest in statement. Yet they open a window onto surging, complex occasions: the welter of the phenomenal world, a braid of water or voices, traffic of all sorts. Their delicate syntax graphs forces at play. Their metaphors find reciprocity between interiors and exteriors. They do so with quiet wit, but also with a deep awareness of how we draw music from noise, feeling from precision, and meaning from the flux of daily life.”