If the World Becomes So Bright is a powerful new collection from accomplished Michigan poet Keith Taylor. In an approachable, intimate, and contemplative voice, Taylor’s poems offer quiet observation of the landscapes the poet encounters. His poems reflect a Romantic sensibility and a modern inventiveness as he travels from Michigan to Cape Hatteras to the Irish countryside and moves in reflection from uncritical observation to self-questioning to exultations of gratitude and peace. The world—however small and immediate—becomes bright in this collection, as Taylor’s careful lines trace our connections with the mundane but important details of our lives, details found in the natural environment, with family members, and in our daily habits.
If the World Becomes So Bright is filled with the fauna and flora of Michigan wilderness, even when that wilderness is no farther away than the backyard. Taylor explores picturesque settings like Isle Royale in the Upper Peninsula, the waters of Lake Michigan, and his home in Ann Arbor, as well as settings that are a world away, all with a reverent and careful eye. He also trains the same studied observation on his inner world as he wrestles with the meanings of everyday occurrences, like visiting a deserted churchyard, following the migrations of birds through his yard, and watching his daughter grow up. Taylor’s voice throughout is insightful and curious, always thankful, and sometimes self-deprecating, sharing lessons while reflecting on all that is left to learn.
Readers will recognize in If the World Becomes So Bright not only a real and familiar speaker but also universal themes of insecurity, deliberation, and discovery. General readers of poetry, as well as fans of Taylor’s other work, will enjoy If the World Becomes So Bright.
Published by Wayne State University Press