“It is not for me to imagine what passes/between a cow and a Pekingese noticing each other/in the spring snow, across an electric fence,” Jacob Boyd assures us in his Frost-inspired “One Looks at Two.” But this poet’s concern not to overreach—to avoid an overly easy recourse to personification or the sublime—is in concert with his commitment to lyrical accuracy. In poem after poem, he takes this imperative not only to animals wild and domesticated, but also to friends, neighbors, and an American landscape as vivid and tactile as “a hallway through Oklahoma, nightlights, a Mustang, a map in the front matter.” Boyd’s companionable voice will bring you readily along for the ride. But he is also the maker of startlingly, seriously astute and beautiful poems. He’s a poet who wears his lyricism lightly. But this Stilt House, while intentionally humble, is architecture built on nerve and lyrical air. — Christina Pugh
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