In Beyond Belief, John Koethe poses eternal and essential questions about the rhythms of time, language and literature, and “the space between attention and belief.” The eleventh book of poetry from America’s philosopher-poet is an intimate, searching collection that gives life to the mundane and lends words to our most interior and abstract musings. What makes a life real? Words on a page, the accumulation of moments and memories, or nothing at all? And what is it worth? Locked inside, have we lost our future and its promises or are we merely pressed to inhabit our present and ourselves?
The award-winning poet invites us into his consideration of our world, as “an ordinary person sitting on his balcony on a summer afternoon, / Waiting patiently for someone to explain it to and meanwhile / Living quietly in his imagination, imagining the afterlife.”
John Koethe has published over ten books of poetry and has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (for Ninety-fifth Street), the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award (Falling Water), and the Frank O’Hara Award for Poetry (Domes). Other poetry books include Beyond Belief, Walking Backwards, and The Swimmer. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry. He is the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.