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Book Review: The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi

Updated: Mar 29

With devastating earthquakes and train explosions polluting our air and water, I’m sure you’re weary of any literature with a title like The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On. I’m here to tell you that this poetry collection by Franny Choi is a powerful, thought-provoking, and worth the read despite the grim subject matter.

The book captures the painful truth of surviving in a world that often fails to care about the lives of marginalized communities. Choi’s poems tackle the catastrophic events, war, and devastation that have already happened to many around the world, and how these events continue to shape our world today.

The collection explores the weariness of the past several years compounded with that of the ages and the generational trauma that arises from living in a world full of violence, war, and inequality. Despite the weight of these themes, Choi’s poetry is not cynical; rather, it offers a path to survival and a hope for change. Her poetry inspires readers to fight for a different world informed by lessons from generations of loss and collective movements.

Choi’s poems are arrestingly sharp, with a tonal virtuosity that demands attention. She masterfully shifts moods and modes to address themes like social unrest, climate change, and her Korean heritage. The collection also features a range of forms, including science fiction poetry that envisions both utopia and dystopia.

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On is a gorgeous collection. It inspires readers to continue fighting for a better world, no matter how dire the circumstances. I would highly recommend this collection to anyone looking for powerful, thought-provoking poetry.


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