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What Goes On: Selected and New Poems, 1995-2009
Stephen Dunn
"Good poems are triumphs over the unlikely," Stephen Dunn says. "They make us pay attention in new ways." In his second new and selected collection, Dunn subtly enlarges our sense of possibility. His new poems, suffused with affection and rue for our world, occasionally address the metaphysical, as in these lines—





from “Talk to God”





Ease into your misgivings


Ask him if in his weakness


he was ever responsible


for a pettiness—some weather, say,


brought in to show who’s boss


when no one seemed sufficiently moved


by a sunset or the shape of an egg.


Ask him if when he gave us desire


he had underestimated its power.

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