"After / the afterlife, there’s an afterlife."In Silverchest, his twelfth book, Carl Phillips considers how our fears and excesses, the damage we cause both to others and to ourselves, intentional and not, can lead not only to a kind of wisdom but also to renewal, maybe even joy, if we’re willing to commit fully to a life in which "I love you / means what, exactly?" In poems shot through with his signature mix of eros, restless energy, and moral scrutiny, Phillips argues for the particular courage it takes to look at the self squarely?not with judgment but with understanding?and extend that self more honestly toward others. It’s a risk, there’s a lot to lose, but if it’s true that "we’ll drown anyway?why not / in color?"
Tell us what do you think about Silverchest: Poems.