“Imagine the couplet as the prosody of intimate relation—a one that makes two, a two that make one—and suddenly In Memory of Brilliance & Value reveals itself as an erotic testing ground of experience in and of language. Here is an elegy for the clear light in which what matters most is revealed, a light no longer wholly our own; here are poems filled with that wound called nostalgia, longing for experience that had once been whole. Now what is ours, Robins makes clear, is a “surplus of seeing,” reveries of figment and fragment, where not only are “idioms bred into spring,” but some other spring hidden within the couplet’s austerity uncoils the root of tradition into a route away from its confines. The sprung, tensed energies of these poems enliven the oddly and intimately human, the strange presence of other lives within our own that poetry long has sought to honor and express through song-work, through dream-work, in which the poem conjures again for us those we love, and so makes love—in all its brilliance and value—available again for those of us that need it, which is to say, us all.”
“What an absolute pleasure it is to read Michael Robins’ In Memory of Brilliance & Value. His musicality is rarely paralleled, and “the voice releasing indelible things” sings songs of real experience. Robins writes, “with luck I’m born & an artist.” Yes, he certainly is, and we are very lucky to have his work.”
Individual poems from In Memory of Brilliance & Value can be found in Arsenic Lobster, Black Tongue Review, Court Green, The Laurel Review, Mantis, Mid-American Review, Moon City Review, Redactions, RHINO, Sakura Review, and Third Coast… And online at Kettle Blue Review, Matter, Poets for Living Waters, Poets.org, POOL, and Rabbit Light Movies.