by James Benton
FROM: Los Angeles Review
Like a hurricane of images, or a tsunami of grief, Sweeny’s lines strain against a background of stability and coherence that barely holds together. The book is an elegy not only because the title tells us so, but because it performs its elegiac ritual without the filter of conventional form or syntactical coherence. If grief is inchoate, the poet asks, what language is sufficient to the duty it is called upon to perform? The answer is a language suddenly released from its duties to inform or to persuade—functions of containment, framing, and interpretation—a non-syntax left to its singular capacity to conjure the ineffable, to bring it into being.