These essays focus on the absence of the poetic imagination in much contemporary poetry and criticism. The retreat of poets into craft, gender, race, and so on has made poetry seem more like soiciology than literature. Such lack of insight can be attributed to forces in American society that place undue emphasis on technique and identity rather than talent and vision, currently evident as well in contemporary popular music, dance, and art. There is a similar imaginative deficiency in the teaching of literature and in political oratory and social commentary.
The consequence where poetry is concerned is the acceptance and anthologizing of work that relies on novelty or shock for notice. We are left with mere appearances instead of essences. In this collection, Samuel Hazo calls for a return to forms of expression in which poet and reader engage in a conversation that speaks to the human condition, where less is more - The Power of Less.