Hydrologos - Warren Heiti, Jan Zwicky

“Hydrologos” is just what I needed to read within these past couple of days. It gave me the kind of rich, emotional experience that I was seeking, to guide me through daily life but also to transcend it. It was mesmerizing in its wording, jumping from the magical and familiar to Sallie Chisum at the time of the Lincoln County War, later going back to the Greek mythos and right after that returning back to modern day. And yet, despite all the jumping around on the time line, “Hydrologos” maintains its integrity and well-executed emotional enchantment. This was best summarized by the very last phrase in the last poem of the collection: “From the kitchen,/ that familiar resonance,/ tap water striking teakettle.” You know something’s up when an image you’re familiar with on a daily basis sends tremors up your spine and makes you want to run and perform that very same action, to see if reality will elicit this very same reaction. “Hydrologos” is a modern-day masterpiece in a category of its own.