Christian Bök’s complex, satirical, magical and layered poetry creates one of the most interesting nature narratives in contemporary poetry. I approach his work (which I am studying for my thesis) as a large puzzle to solve. It doesn’t evoke an emotional response in me like the work of Robert Hass, James Galvin or Bernadette Hall. Instead his poems take time to connect with and understand. Like a marathon, the hard work is what brings satisfaction. At the moment I am organising a poem from his collection Crystallography to use when I next edit The Tuesday Poem hub.
The following clip shows Bök reading from his celebrated book, Eunoia. I remember reading that, for seven years, Bok worked during the day and then wrote this book at night. Each chapter in the book uses only one vowel and the clip below is an exert from “chapter i”. You can also read “chapter e” online here. As an aside, for the next couple of months I am going to post fortnightly. I have a PhD to write and a baby to grow (he has another 22 weeks to bake), so time and energy are a little scare.