While You Were Approaching the Spectacle But Before You Were Transformed by It by Lytton Smith
While You Were Approaching the Spectacle But Before You Were Transformed by It
Poetry | $15.95
paperback, 88 pages, 5.5 x 8 in
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937658-11-3

A riveting second collection from a “poet already in his prime” (Boston Review)

How do we react to disaster, to political uprising, to spectacle? With relief missions, donations, and what words?While You Were Approaching the Spectacle But Before You Were Transformed by It, the second book by Lytton Smith, explores the relationship between poetry, news, and the lives of others. Poised between Brecht’s critique of empathy and Martha Nussbaum’s politics of compassion, this powerful collection plays with direct address and personal testimony as it investigates the relationship between ethics and the aesthetic. Drawing on sources that range from travel guides, BBC reports, contemporary art exhibitions, and sixteenth-century debates about masque, Smith’s book offers a range of forms that test the edges of the page, the borders of communication.