Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.
I was getting too worried about all that noise around symbolism, around beauty, around birds. I needed to be silent in some different way with that scene. If the stupid emotional truths were really stupid, at least I’d try to hear them, to identify them more clearly.
Ultimately, it’s Tracker’s sensitivity, his depth of feeling, that raises Black Leopard, Red Wolf above simpler fantasy. The author shows endless sophistication, whether his players are making love or going for the kill.
The death of the poet Richard Wilbur was announced on Sunday, marking the end of a literary career that flourished over seven decades. Wilbur won every major award available to an American poet: the Ruth Lilly prize, a term as Poet Laureate, two Pulitzers, and Sewanee’s own Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, among many others. Wilbur’s insistence on form buttressed his confidence in the musical capability of language, producing a body of work that is deeply thought, deeply felt, and infinitely accessible.