Poetry. "From now on there will not be any more poems," F. Keith Wahle declares in the opening line of this book-length, er, poem, and in the hundreds of lines that follow he enumerates all of the people, places, and things about which poems will no longer be written. Which is, of course, pretty much everything that he can imagine, and his imagination is widely and wildly expansive. As is his knowledge of culture both high and pop, and he ranges over literature, art, music, film, and the vanishing touchstones of his, and his generation's, life. One gets the sense that an entire world could be reconstructed from these pages. It's a breathless, and often hilarious, ride; but somewhere along the way it occurs that this satiric pronouncement of the end of poetry is in fact a pleading, perhaps even a prayer, a litany, a rage against the dying not of light but of the words that capture and convey, well, everything. The book is dedicated to a host of dead poets, who among many others appear in the poem through quotation and often oblique reference. In part this book asks the question, who will follow these? Who will write the words? Who will read them? In the closing lines, Wahle envisions not merely the death of poetry, but how that death is symptomatic of a dying planet. "I can imagine a world without poems before a world without whales," he laments, before exhorting "You should not be reading this. / Life is real, life is earnest." Look at all we have to lose. It's all here. Get busy saving it. And then maybe, just maybe, there will still be poems.
F. Keith Wahle was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1947, and grew up in Northern Kentucky. In 1969, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati, where he studied Poetry Writing with David Schloss. He later entered the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he studied with Donald Justice, Helen Chasin, Marvin Bell, Mark Strand, and Larry Levis, receiving an MFA degree in English in 1974. His work has been published in numerous magazines and journals. He received Individual Artist Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council in 1984, 1990, and 2003. In the mid-nineties, he became interested in performance work, creating numerous interdisciplinary collaborations, usually with dancers and musicians. He also wrote and performed in a number of short dialogues and monologues. He is an enthusiastic Modern Dance fan, an avid book collector, a movie and video nut, and a music lover, with a special interest in Jazz, Blues, and American Folk Music. He and his wife, Beth are both retired from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. They live in the White Oak neighborhood of Cincinnati.Author City: CINCINNATI, KY USA