Listen. If

first snow falling slow
hangs in the air
a curtain drifting there
thickening sight
—“Winter”

In this new collection, Douglas Barbour experiments with what he calls “rhythmically intense open form.” Listen. If presents technically innovative poetry that invites the reader to join in some serious play. Barbour’s vivid, ekphrastic poems engage an ongoing conversation among artworks—not only classic paintings but also popular music—while his lyric poems astutely, accessibly evoke places, moments, and feelings. This is poetry that takes up language both as the already-said and as a playground for brilliant technique. Leaping from love to landscapes, politics to jazz, Keats to Milne to Monk, these poems yearn to be spoken aloud for the pure joy of sound.