Joe Pan’s Hiccups Reviewed in Stereo Embers Magazine

Plate 72 from Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (1904) from Public Domain Review

This week, Alex Green of Stereo Embers Magazine reviewed Joe Pan’s Hiccups. The review diagnoses, among many aspects of Pan’s work, his irrepressible knack for observing the world around him.

Because Pan, who writes with one of the keenest observational eyes in modern poetry, has such an affection for the world–the people, the places, the seasons, the animals, the music, the art and the way it works and doesn’t work–this line is more than just a quiet admission a writer makes to himself. This is a line that’s uttered with marvel and joy—and why wouldn’t it be? To realize the world can never be used up by language because life’s theatre is such a rich and expansive place it can never be fully recorded, is to realize that the job of a poet can never be completed.

Green touches on the paradox, and ultimately, the limitation of language to do justice to the natural world. Where Pan sets himself apart as a poet is in his recognition of this incongruity. And yet because—and not in spite of—this Sisyphusian panic, as Green calls it, Pan’s words are meant not to carve a thing in stone, but to let it constantly regenerate, spiral, and take shape over time.

Hiccups is available for purchase through Small Press Distribution online.

More of Joe Pan:

Joe Pan’s author page

Joe Pan’s website