The Swimmer

A searching new collection from America’s philosopher-poetJohn Koethe, in his tenth volume of poetry, investigates the capricious nature of everyday life, “the late-night jazz, great sex and all / The human shit defining what we are.” His poems—always dynamic and in process, never static or complete—luxuriate in the questions that punctuate the most humdrum of routines, rendering a robust portrait of an individual: complicated, quotidian, and resounding with truth. The Swimmer argues that this “energizes everything”: life’s trivialities, surprises, and disappointments, and the “terrible feeling of being just about to fall.”