Oh by Cole Swensen

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Cole Swensen's brilliant, witty riff on the history and meaning of opera as art form represents and refigures high passion and baroque exultation in the most minimal, condensed, and quiet of vocabularies and phrasal units. Oh is opera cool-the aria transformed into delicate echo—

thus witless

this edgeless—

and it is precisely this restraint-this subtle aural and verbal spin on opera as extravagant art-that allows the reader to revel in the difference-as well as the continuity—of our own poetic moment. 

—Marjorie Perloff