Whoever Drowned Here: New and Selected Poems by Max Sessner
Translated by Francesca Bell
Red Hen Press, August 2023
Beloved by contemporary German readers, the poetry of Max Sessner is gathered for the first time in English in Whoever Drowned Here: New and Selected Poems, translated by Francesca Bell. Painstakingly chosen from Sessner’s celebrated three collections and from new work, these poems employ a matter-of-fact magical realism to engage the profound, philosophical mysteries of the everyday. Sessner makes nimble use of the material world as he choreographs poignant reenactments of human yearning. Smocks in the window of a dry cleaner “trade stolen / caresses” at night. Death tries on your clothes while you sleep and eats your chocolate. A poem tires of being a poem, “a small mortal / thing that no one notices,” and sets off into the world to make a new life.
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