Tag: poetry

A review of The Lantern Room by Chloe Honum

It would be foolish to start this review by saying these are the most beautiful poems I have ever read, but they are beautiful. From the first infinitely delicate poem where on the eve of turning thirteen, in a revelatory Paul of Tarsus moment, Honum discovers an angel of poetry whose ancient “mottled language” she will now speak, through all the book’s poems that look closely at and identify with small creatures, including butterflies, luna moths, hornets, sparrows, spiders, and sorrows, these are beautiful poems.

A review of Mirabilia by Lisa Gorton

The richness in Gorton’s creativity is evident in all her poems, but in the second section of the book titled “Tongue” I was fascinated by how the poet takes the reader on trips to the past with narrative poetry that contains vivid images and keeps the reader glue to the page.

A review of All Poetry by Paulo Leminski

Ultimately, this collection brings a great new poet to light from a country that often gets overlooked in English writing. Even more though, the variety of the work shows us that Leminiski is a poet who lived through poetry. He thought, breathed, and dreamed poetically, and the reader can delve into that life by experiencing the stages of it in this collection.

A review of How Beautiful People Are by Ayaz Pirani

A preternatural intelligence is required to understand the complexity of beauty and to hold beauty with reverence and respect for objectivity. Pirani gives depth to these contemplations as well as to the practice of observation. The poem investigates a balance between what is and what is observed. The reflection and mergence between the viewer and the viewed arrives at the crossroad of what may quickly be lost.

A review of Lyon Street by Marc Zegans

For our poet, each of the women who appear in this collection are more than characters. Each one is also an encounter to be reckoned with, an archetype, someone to be understood at a deeper level. The poem concludes with the poet wondering if this “carnival life” was “…a perfect faith that this was forever..” until he and company then “…ambled across Broadway down Columbus…climbed the secret stairs to Apple and Eve,// saw the dancing girl with the welts on her thighs,/ and realized, all this was not just play.”

A review of The Pit by Tara Borin

The Pit is vulnerable. Every character is one that you might know and put a face to. None are foreign or fantastical and in that way, friendly yet tragic in the same breath, quickly urging sympathy from the reader. Just as a pub is a collector of escapists and thrill-seekers, it is routinely a home for the broken and suffering. The manner in which Borin curates a motif of safety is endearing and compliments the beauty of The Pit.

A review of Walking the Labyrinth by Pamela Wax

An ordained rabbi, Pamela Wax’s poems are steeped in ethical concerns and Jewish tradition and practice. “I keep getting books about character,” “Not Moses,” “Bad Girl” and others address her sense of coming up short, failing in her duties as a sister and a daughter, as a human being. One’s responses to grief are complex and often contradictory.

A review of Pentimento by Daniel Ionita

There are angels, demons, Death with a capital D, a plot against Santa Claus, and potato salad, all playing off one another with exuberance. Though occasionally confronting, Pentimento is a charming, inventive, smart and slightly audacious collection that will delight all but the most squeamish readers.  

A review of Selected Poems: The Director’s Cut by John Yamrus

The poems in this book are courageous in that they defy expectations of what some may consider “poetic material.” Yamrus forgoes lyricism by shooting straight (and sometimes being crass). He eschews punctuation and literary device. He compresses everything, as in the two-word poem “nothing / helps,” or, a poem half that length: “endure.” That’s right.

A review of In The Roar of the Machine by Zheng Xiaoqiong

The poet skilfully describes how youth and dreams are lost quickly as the result of hard work, becoming part of the machine: “I see myself resembling this cast iron.”  Iron is in her hands, in her mind, in her verses, iron controls her life.  Anonymity, monotony, boredom, pain and exploitation are observed with poetic care; politics into poetry.