Ana Božičević’s work is filled with a wild freedom, and reading it often reminds me of reading Wallace Stevens, in that you know absolutely anything can happen next but whatever it is, it will be perfect. In her poems she expresses an attitude of solemn responsibility to history, both the world’s and her own, yet there is often a marvelous lightness, even playfulness about them. She is able to stretch language to its most ineffable and musical limits while maintaining a masterful grasp of the colloquial. These are not just technical matters. An émigré from reality (in the form of one of modern time’s most monstrously and moronically cruel wars) and a Cassandra, she is able to perceive with the eyes of language—then render with lyrical immediacy—the experience of our collective sleepwalking soul, who may well soon awaken to discover that its terror was not a dream.
Stars of the Night Commute haunts in three dimensions, knit by a below-words rumble in the sure rhythm of dreams. Many of the poems carry a shamanistic, elemental quality, as if real matter were articulating out of word-fragments. Božičević writes, “At the end of poetry the poem can no longer be remote.” If this is “the end of poetry,” perhaps poetry is, after all, reaching forward back to its beginning.