Spooky Action by John Mulrooney is reviewed in Spoke Review

Mairéad Byrne reviews John Mulooney’s latest book of poetry, Spooky Action in Spoke Review.

In terms of using language to build relationship between the known and unknown, Aristotle championed the ability to make metaphors above all else. Keats, in his concept of Negative Capability, perhaps influenced by studies in electrical science at the time, valorized the capacity to be a receptor, to operate “in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” With the term Objective Correlative, T.S. Eliot proposed the clustering of objects or external events as transmitters of otherwise inchoate emotion. Actually, Aristotle, Keats, and Eliot surfaced rather than expounded on the terms of metaphor, Negative Capability, and Objective Correlative. But the terms, and the values of the concepts they represented, were taken up by poets and scholars. Einstein’s “spukhafte Fernwirkung” or “spooky action at a distance” also surfaced somewhat casually, in a letter to Max Born in 1947. Unlike the positive exemplarity of metaphor, Negative Capability and Objective Correlative, “spooky action at a distance” was a repudiation. Author, teacher, steel guitarist, and film producer John Mulrooney doesn’t explain his choice of title for his first full-length book of poetry. Patrick Pritchett, in his blurb on the back cover of the book, provides that service: “Einstein spoke dismissively of ‘spooky action at [a] distance,’ the idea that separate objects could somehow share a simultaneous condition across space and time, or what is sometimes referred to as quantum entanglement.

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Posted by Dos Madres Press