“Lit” Pick of the week: “Crush” by Richard Siken

Radar is committed to all forms of art and entertainment and as such, will pick one book as a reading recommendation every week. This week, Radar’s “Lit” pick is “Crush” by Richard Siken.

Crush” is a collection of poetry written by American poet Richard Siken and is the winner of the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The book itself is divided into three Romanic-numbered parts, each part characterized by an ineluctable feeling of anxiety and overwrought brooding. Siken’s poems conjure tender, often hypersexualized ruminations on former lovers with a looming fear of (as the foreword by Louise Gluck states) oblivion.

Those inept in poetry, those such as myself when I first encountered this book, will find themselves entranced by Siken’s proficiency in obsessively capturing moments suspended in time — those moments defined by nothing but the reactions we cannot translate into language — that he somehow manages to translate into language. “Crush” is a fortress of solitude holding raw, emotional virtuosity from one of America’s finest inheritors of distinct Plathian poise.

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