“The Journey,” together with some fine ancillary poems, is a major work by one of our most challenging and surprising poets: a profound exploration of dream that seeks to fathom the nature of reality. Stunningly beautiful passages of verbal music seem to leap off the page. In all his long career, E. M. Schorb has never given us anything more ambitious, more likely to last.
E. M. Schorb’s “The Journey” navigates among dreams, déjà vu, premonitions, a carefully observed, scrupulously interrogated present and “a touch of the old moonglow.” Sometimes, he even seems to bring dispatches from “the undiscover’d country,” but he is always rooted in the world of the senses and the mind. It is a pleasure to travel with him.
“The Journey” will take you deep into your mind and soul. You’ll ask “where does the sun come from,” you’ll try to “discover the source of pain” and you’ll “rejoin yourself, deserted long ago.” E.M. Schorb has discovered the ‘Higgs boson’ of the poetic world, the vision that binds it all.
E.M. Schorb’s poems do for me what great poetry should do—they illuminate experience from the inside out. In his magnificent essay “Poetry and Meaning,” our late U.S. poet laureate Howard Nemerov writes that the whole job of poets is “getting it right in language.” In poetry that shimmers with luminosity, and with “the most tender touch imaginable,” E.M. Schorb is “getting it right” every time. Welcome to the “Hotel Paradiso,” where “The Journey” begins.