085.1: Sean Thomas Dougherty:: Who Labored & Like Gauze & The Little Bird that Rattled
7 November 2011
The second of these three poems by Sean Thomas Dougherty, “Like Gauze” includes an epigraph from “The Spell of the Leaves” by Larry Levis: “But when I think of her, nothing has happened yet.” Such an epigraph is undoubtedly important when placed next to Dougherty’s beautiful work, for no living poet to my mind has so deeply reconciled that troublesome interrogative that Levis posited in “The Perfection of Solitude: A Sequence”: “What does it mean, American?” These poems along with many others in Dougherty’s impressive volume do not shy away from the question of the Artist’s role in relation to the larger political, social, and cultural conundrums of contemporary America. Dougherty’s speaker does not self-deprecate or “apologize” when challenging the inequities, malignancies, and abuses of power in America today.