A spirit cabinet, for the Shakers, was a sort of stage through which the other world might speak. David Wojahn's ferocious poems are 'spirit cabinets' in which appear the raging ghosts of public and private history. Wojahn samples everything from Gilgamesh to The Eagles, building a dense and bracingly idiosyncratic linguistic fabric. His searing, harrowed book portrays a nearly-ruined world lit by a glimmer of a tenderness, and by the corrective perspectives of irony and self-awareness. His hard-won compassion illumines, even if it is an elegist's compassion, in which love and lament are inseparable.