In his superb collection of critical essays, “What Light Can Do,” Robert Hass, the former poet laureate, writes so tantalizingly and draws on so vast a range of knowledge that our impulse, mid-essay, is to dash off immediately and read, or reread, whichever book or poem or writer he’s just touched on, or gaze at more pictures by the photographers he admires, or soak up some of the considerable political history he has absorbed.
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