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Poetry Book
Aerial by Bin Ramke

Bin Ramke's latest collection takes on familial connections and the passing of loved ones. The poems in Aerial are divided into two sections, "Clouded" and "Cloudless." This work is indeed concerned with both the physical characteristics and the spiritual realm of the sky, which creates a landscape for these intimate, yet rigorous, poems. In "Literacy: Blinding Birds" Ramke writes

        sunset orange a slight
	engagement and then gone
	the vapors and birds mix eloquent
	ganglia and molecules and photons
	as if several communities

	made a language a languor of flight
	they do seem, clouds disgorging birds
	into light and air, they do seem not
	of my world but only of themselves

Ultimately, the sky also serves to represent the boundless enormity of death. Mary Jo Bang writes that the poems in Aerial are “beautiful, disquieting, deeply felt, and ultimately tragic—since Ramke, and all his stand-in speakers, keep reaching obsessively for knowledge about something they know is ultimately unfathomable."

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.

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