Brian Culhane's erudite, accomplished debut, winner of the Poetry Foundation's Emily Dickinson First Book Award
I step in no book twice
for I'm not the mind I was
even one breath ago.
In The King's Question, poet Brian Culhane gathers the sometimes broken monuments of the long dead to describe how the ancient world impinges on the modern. So the Elgin Marbles prefigures the trench warfare of World War I; the lost Library of Alexandria mirrors the loss of the poet's father's library; and the Delphic oracle summons the murmur of a psychotherapist. With skilled formal craft and a daring intelligence, Culhane's poems show the mind profoundly grappling to articulate the right questions, while the gods, as always, deny any certitude.