“Whether he is retelling the story of Abraham and Isaac, tracing the elegant persistence of the morning glory, or contemplating the web of mixed allegiances in violence-riven Jerusalem, David Caplan writes in light. His economies can take one’s breath away. He settles for nothing less than the world’s most resonant accords. Who else among us so tellingly renders the kinship of learning and prayer (‘both forms of argument’)? Or so patiently traces the links between figure and faith? A beautiful, necessary book.”
—Linda Gregerson, Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English, University of Michigan
“A marvelous debut collection, In the World He Created According to His Will enriches and troubles our experience of the here and now through a quiet you can’t help but hear.”
—Alan Shapiro, author of Old War
“David Caplan is one of those poets a culture discards at its peril. . . .In his poems, nothing is quaint, and there are no parables. Reality is hardedged, varied, seriously explored. The complexity of the poet’s Biblically-based worldview may come as a surprise to the literary secularist.”
—Robert Hirschfield, Jerusalem Report
"Caplan manages to turn the form inside out, while still creating a deeply spiritual meditation on nature, human relationships, and God."
—Jewish Daily Forward
Caplan’s lyrics seek to understand the world in its fullness, both the suffering that history imposes on individual experience and the sacredness that underpins it. This is a meditation on love and faith built out of language as spare and direct as prayer. Some poems deal with issues of statehood and Jewish identity; increasingly the poems grapple with the demands of traditional Jewish practice, moving from a Christianized American landscape to a sequence set in Jerusalem.
Equally attuned to contemporary life and Biblical exigency, In the World He Created According to His Will vividly explores the experience of living in a world marked by terror and joy.