[Brothers, I Loved You All: Poems 1969–1977] is simply superb. Carruth gets better as he gets older because he has not stopped caring—for the poem or for the world. "Paragraphs," the concluding poem in this volume, consists of 28 16-line stanzas. It ends celebrating the recording of "Bottom Blues" in 1944, having gotten there from the Campground Road in Carruth's Vermont. How it got there is the poem, and makes it major—a term I don't use loosely….
Carruth speaks from and to a shared experience in his own voice. But that voice has heard what is around it. The combination is irresistible, and must produce poems that matter. But then he says: "In nature / rebirth will follow, we know, an upheaval / greater than death, but sometimes it / doesn't matter…."
This is the central fact. I won't say only poets know it, but how come they're the only ones who say it? And still go on writing.
Adrienne Rich, "Books: 'Brothers, I Love You All'," in The Village Voice (reprinted by permission of The Village Voice; copyright © The Village Voice, Inc., 1978), Vol. XXIII, No. 57, December 18, 1978, p. 120.