Throughout Sound Fury, poems by metaphysician Robert Herrick are refashioned into phantasmagorical oddities of likeness and difference. Figures from the fringes of popular imagination—Zane Grey, Robinson Crusoe, Porfirio Díaz—surface as cobbled-together avatars on the theme of identity. Brilliantly asserting the necessity of humane and resistant modes of speech against the vapid sounds and enforced silences of orthodoxy, Sound Fury finds the poet “Now, in our former state/ In our current one/ In stately procession,” venturing forth in a world “where things of questionable being go.” 

“Whether lark as in songbird, or lark as in stunt, these skeptical, fabulous poems pluck pieces from Herrick and Pope like particulate matter from which the wonder of a poem inexplicably grows. Here is the poet Mark Levine at a great height. Sound Fury turns any easy notion of content and context inside out, executing the truth of our effortful helplessness. This book is a feat, a tonal fiesta, but not for this will it keep mattering to me, no—these songs come from somewhere deep underneath: if bawdy, then tender, full of woeful delight.”—Sally Keith, author, River House

“Mark Levine has an extraordinary nose, taste, and mouth for lives low and abject, filthy talkers and doers. Sound Fury—its nouns pressed together loudly and furiously—is distinguished by its intense, continually revved-up virtuosity of voice, its absolutely right pitch, idiom, line cuts, and rhyme, and its large cast of ‘scavenging muckers.’ Levine’s language is unstoppably vigorous and his wit sly; his distinctiveness is his genius for a devastating inwardness. The postmodern disenchantment with the Anthropocene, that farce of human greed and conceit, finds its latest, most confident tracker here.”—Cal Bedient, author, The Breathing Place

“Since his debut collection, Debt, Mark Levine has managed to reinvent himself with each new book. In Sound Fury, he turns to canonical poetry, which he has absorbed with love, distaste, and ambivalence, to embark on a chaotic, dream-like romp that puzzles and dazzles with its images and invented forms. The immersive landscapes of these poems might remind one of other fantastic and haunting worlds: environments such as Ian Cheng’s endlessly proliferating self-playing video game Emissaries, or Victorian fairy paintings like Richard Dadd’s The Fairy Fellers Master-Stroke. Sound Fury amplifies our conception of how the art of the past can be radically transformed and brought renewed into the present—and ultimately of what poetry can be: a realm of expanded possibility and a heightened feeling of being alive. This is an extraordinary book.”—Geoffrey Nutter, author, Giant Moth Perishes

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