“We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.”—Otto Neurath
Such is the unstable universe in which Regan Good constructs her poems. The rocky coast of New England is the Objective Correlative for Good’s vision of the world—a place of treacherous beauty and shifting sands. Taking its inspiration from the thousands of shipwrecks surrounding Cape Cod, Massachusetts, The Atlantic House examines the waste and wreckage that mark the very beginnings of our nationhood, discovering in this uneasy detritus a consonance with the sandy traps of the striving self. While ships silently and steadily rot around the coastline, dry land burgeons and swirls with activity.
A metaphysical poet for the 21st century, Good is at once a Romantic Idealist, a Nature poet, and a Religious poet. The Lord here is no balm, however. Corks on an ocean, we have been abandoned and left adrift to make meaning for ourselves. As philosopher Otto Neurath imagined, we are constantly rebuilding our ships upon the sea—Sisyphean endeavors of meaning-making that provide only temporary safety—as we fall again and again through the faulty planks (of Reason? of Mortality?), finding ourselves surrounded by water. Here in this unstable element, some are buoyed while others drown.