Robert Pinsky's poems have long been celebrated for their imaginative abundance, the uniqueness of their music, their originality and audacity. Gulf Music is his most daring, most politically impassioned book. In the first line, political prisoners are studying in their cells. In its last line, an oracle is lost. Between this labor of knowledge and this chasm of forgetfulness, between the political and the personal, from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico, Pinsky has created a poetic universe that encompasses the familial, the cultural, the tribal, the national, and the spiritual. This is a haunting, bold, and savage work by a major American poet. From a vast array of experience and things—songs, the objects that furnish a desk, the architecture of small towns, war and love—these poems embody a sensibility more fiercely and urgently engaged than ever before. In the section called "First Things to Hand," objects like "Book," "Jar of Pens," and "Door" enact the way in which each part of life, each moment of perception or history, can be a portal into the universe. In the title poem, Pinsky plumbs the limits of the logic of ordinary language, instilling his lines with an order that includes an apparent near-chaos, but which resolves into a poignant, fierce, and utterly unprecedented vision of time, of music, of attachment and loss, of broken love and spiritual triumph.