Category: Poetry Reviews

A review of The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney

The difference is startling but the poetry is unmistakable and convincing in its authenticity. But may it be the authenticity of Heaney rather than of Sophocles? Reviewed by Bob Williams The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney Faber and Faber…

A review of The Gods of Winter by Dana Gioia

Poetry is not popular, perhaps because unlike fiction it demands a reader capable of giving all of his or her attention to the text. Dana Gioia’s own book (Can Poetry Matter?) is the best examination of the problems that poets…

A review of Nosferatu by by Dana Gioia

The poetic needs of a libretto can be reduced to very few. The words assist the music and are absorbed into it. Music must bolster up the more pedestrian passages but needs effective words to support dramatic action and vivid…

A review of The Body’s Question: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

Her poems are unpretentious, intelligent and consistently arresting by their beauty and their honesty. This is another triumph for Graywolf Press which seems unable to publish any but distinguished books. Reviewed by Bob Williams The Body’s Question by Tracy K.…

A Review of Wild Surmise by Dorothy Porter

The power and beauty of Porter’s poetry takes the reader instantly deeper into the character than a more traditional narrative prose would. It skips the conjunction, the “dialogue” and the external world, and goes straight for the emotional response, revealing…

A review of Dorothy Porter’s Other Worlds

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball Other Worlds by Dorothy Porter Picador, Aug 2001 RRP $A$25.00 ISBN: 0330362860 Writing about good poetry is like trying to describe wine: the heavy full mouth astringency leaving a warm sweetness after swallowing. Poetry is as…

A review of Robin Loftus’ Backyard Cosmos

Robin Loftus’ new collection of poetry Backyard Cosmos is a small collection, almost more of a pamphlet than a book, containing 50 pieces including a few haiku, but the work has that transformative quality which Ellmann refers to. Some of…