Hayden Carruth (1921-2008) described his poetry as existing “in a state of tension between the love of natural beauty and the fear of natural meaninglessness or absurdity,” where he expresses this “state of tension” as much about his challenging emotional life as about his poetic perspective. Carruth began writing poetry at the tender age of six and developed a lifelong affinity for jazz around the same time. In and out of mental institutions and often besieged by serious emotional challenges, he never stopped writing. And jazz’s influence can be seen throughout his body of work. He riffs and pounces like a jazz musician, morphing the structure of his poems to capture the feeling, whatever that feeling may be. And it’s impossible not to feel as one reads over this stunning collection of emotion captured in words.