Author(s): C. K. Williams (Contribution by)
Over the past half century, the great shape-shifting poet C. K. Williams took upon himself the poet's task: to record with candor and ardor "the burden of being alive." In Falling Ill, his final volume of poems, he brings this task to its conclusion, bearing witness to a restless mind's encounter with the brute fact of the body's decay, the spirit's erasure. Written with unsparing lyricism and relentless discursive logic, these brave poems face unflinchingly "the dreadful edge of a precipice" where a futureless future stares back. Here there are no easy resolutions or false consolations. Like unanswered prayers, these are poems of deep interrogation-a dialogue between the agonized "I" in its harrowing here-and-nowness and the elusive "you" of the beloved, who flickers achingly just out of reach. Williams's Falling Ill takes its place among the enduring works of literature about death and departure.