Modern consciousness may indeed be splintered, but it is one function of poetry in our time to fasten it back together--which does not mean to deny its complexity. When poetry can name the parts and position them, when it brings us out of the speedy, buzzing fog that is selfhood and modern life, our sense of being alive is heightened and intensified. How strange it is what when I read a particular poem, which brings the world into focus for me, that I can feel my own self come into focus. I was already part of that world, I know--but the unifying, clarifying impact of the poem delivers me to a deeper, and more conscious state of being-in-the-world. Deeper and better than before, when I was only lost in it.