Gregory Pardlo won the Pulitzer last year, so it’s probably not a surprise to you that he’s a good poet to read. I thought I’d include a poem from his earlier collection, though, to show that his musicality and wide-ranging consciousness were present in the last book, too (from www.poetryfoundation.org):
It’s a beautiful image, and the sonic qualities of this poem are equal to its visual interest. Track the letter “t” through the poem–see how many lines have at least one t. My favorite lines are “How / the whole stunning contraption of girl and rope / slaps and scoops like a paddle boat.” I love the consonance of “slaps” and “scoops,” and those verbs are so precise that they conjure the rope turning in air. I love that the poet makes good on the metaphor in “contraption,” comparing the rope-jumping to the “paddle boat” wheel.