Ross White,  "How We Came Upon the Colony"  (Unicorn Press, 2014)


With air-tight verse and talent for the surreal, Ross White invokes a sibling version of our world in his new collection How We Came Upon the Colony (Unicorn Press, 2014). By tilting our view slightly to the left, he allows us to ask necessary questions of the familiar.

How entitled are we to our many geographic and spiritual colonies?

Has our idea of Manifest Destiny merely shifted from Westward Expansion to industry in a world that has stretched far beyond "local" but retains the individuality loaned to us by Capitalism?

Can history itself be colonized?

These are the poems of a mind at work sorting out an individual and shared history. That White could contain such worlds in clean and steady lines, speaks to his mastery of craft. He seeks to illuminate rather than explain, and to offer possibilities rather than moral solutions.

In proof that we should still sit in wonder at these strange real and imagined worlds, the reader is left with this final image:

When there is no light, the farmer smokes his pipe

and waits patiently to be possessed by hope.

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