Simple Eyes & Other Poems
Michael McClure, signed by author
The running theme in Michael McClure’s ‘Simple Eyes & Other Poems’ is looking at the world directly. The results are often as disquieting as they are illuminating. In the long title poem, the stanzas on the Persian Gulf War bloom out of images of all wars the poet has known — the spiritual wars, the napalm and cordite and nuclear wars, and the war against nature — and become a kind of spiritual autobiography. At the heart of the poetry is McClure’s return to the ancient concept of agnosia, the idea of knowing through unknowing, as a way of living in desperate times in which deep human or humane feelings have become almost outlaw.