Cedar Sigo avoids the usual pitfalls when exploring queer identity, minority identity and a political perspective thinking progressives can work with. He isn’t trite. He is never overwrought, and he brings a kinetic ardor to every line.
Long time Rumpus Reviewer Barbara Berman examines the two latest offerings from critic Helen Vendler, one on Emily Dickinson and the other on the last books from five of the 20th century’s finest poetic voices.
Watson’s skill here, as on so many pages, is to be accessible and kinetic while seeing something new in a common experience. Her sight is so unique, her inner editor so keen, that she brings a prismatic freshness to what eye and her “dogged heart” confront.
Many poems, and many more lines, couplets and quatrains in Opal Sunset are superb, making their lesser companions wan imitations of what Clive James can really do when his interior editor and his varied gifts unite.
Maxine Kumin’s poems about the specifics of life on the farm with family, and relationships to fish, fowl, horse and vegetable matter, not to mention lovely liquids and unappealing solids, are consistently satisfying and sometimes deliciously entertaining.
A particular joy of Mysteriosos and Other Poems is the apprehension of current—biological, electric and historical, and in other forms– that distinguishes the most rigorously thrumming beats from their sallow imitators.
Foreign aspects sometimes have a familiar whiff, and not just to Simic fans who have seen proof of his admission that Serbian poetry has affected his own. They have a familiar whiff because a number of poets in this collection have translated Whitman, T.
In A Meteorologist in the Promised Land, Becka Mara McKay reminds us that every language is a unique translation of a combination of desire and thought, both of which have complicated, individual histories.
Kay Ryan has been compared to Emily Dickinson, and I like to imagine Dickinson and Marianne Moore reading her with sly commiseration. Unlike some poets with recognizable styles, Ryan does not write the same poem again and again, and her sharp eye is both benevolent and unflinching.
What Jelloun proves throughout this book is that he has not let language(s) fail him or the people, places and historical moments he memorializes, making dates that are not headlines as important as front page news.
B. H. Fairchild fuses mundane with spiritual in resolute ways, as “in the silent prayer for the grace of rain abundant,” a glorious line that would have been less so if the words “rain” and “abundant” were switched
The Next Settlement has a rock-solid American quality that compares favorably to William Carlos Williams. Think Plymouth and ocean waves constantly changing, hypnotic in part because of the mysteries beneath.
Marchant transforms potentially stale-sounding specifics into a breathing, universally grasped object as writer, reader and paradoxically, the “no longer beautiful mind” are in communion, even if the mind presented cannot comprehend the connection.