Specters as various as Vallejo, Szymborska, Neruda, Fidel Castro, and Groucho Marx guide and support the elegies in Christopher Buckley’s new collection. A god that may or may not be there as well as politics, memory, history, popular culture, philosophy, and a good deal of arm wrestling with chance inform Buckley’s on-going debate between faith and doubt, science and religion. Buckley brings his customary sense of irony and slant humor to bear on the deep inquiry into our collective fates in Agnostic.
“Whether he is addressing his departed friend(s), or the great swell of the Pacific Ocean that haunts his dreams, the voice is always the same, modest and direct. This is a humble poetry of great truths and profound emotions for the events both in and above the world.”–Philip Levine, Ploughshares
“Christopher Buckley’s gift for wide-ranging thinking meshes so gracefully with lovingly tender details, he feels like a companion voice for all time . . . and we are caught up in a spell of unfolding images, an arc of compelling music, and his passionate care for what we can and cannot change.”–Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Transfer