Appropriately for a book haunted by music, Katharine Towers' poems exhibit an almost pianistic sense of timing, touch and tone. In The Floating Man, Towers writes about weight and weightlessness, presence and absence, the body in space, and our oblique relationship with the natural world, always with a wonderful sense of compositional balance; she is expert at registering the huge emotional shifts effected by the smallest things, whether the scent of apples, the slant of the light, or the grace-notes of memory. Music expresses the things we cannot say, but Towers recruits its power to bring the beyond-words into the realm of speech. The result is a debut of great originality and subtlety.

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