“Have you been bountiful?” Jacob Oet asks in one of the startlingly precocious moments in Metamorphosis, a question that all of us should be asking ourselves as we look back over our lives. Metamorphosis wonderfully captures a young poet on the brink of transformation, in all his eagerness and trepidation as he looks to wake into what Oet brilliantly calls a “distinctly personal adjective.” The most Oetsian poems in this collection evoke the delicate beauty of opening into a new life while reminding us of the painful irrevocability of change: “It’s impossible to pop the wings back in after they’ve grown.” I, for one, am grateful this young poet can’t pop his wings back in.“
— Jason Koo, author, MAN ON AN EXTREMELY SMALL ISLAND, winner of 2008 De Novo Poetry Prize
This is the uncannily mature work of a poet whose youth lends freshness and urgency to his fine perceptions. Tacking between the everyday and timebound (“I waste a winter on the internet”) and larger concerns, the poems display wit and depth and the promise of great things to come.
— Dana Goodyear, author, HONEY AND JUNK; staff writer, The New Yorker