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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Yusef komunyakaa: Pleasure Dome

    Struggling to find a new collection of poetry, I turned to a friend and explained my assignment. She immediately told me she had the perfect collection for me because she believed it was something any young poet should read. With this in mind, I began to flip through the pages of Yusef Komunyakaa’s […]

God’s Silence by Franz Wright

  God’s Silence by Franz Wright is a book of questions. As the title would lead one to believe, God’s Silence  leaves the questioner filled with doubt. While reading the book I had forgotten that poems could be so small. The amount of blank page was belittling in itself. The poem “Hell” is an excellent example of […]

Duende by Tracy K. Smith

The Duende is a mythical creature in Spanish and Portugese folklore. A duende is usually a small sprite or gremlin that plays tricks on people. Federico Garcia Lorca interprets this mischievousness as  “the creative and ecstatic power an artist seeks to channel from within. It can lead the artist toward revelation, but it must also accept and […]

Juvenilia by Sylvia Plath

  It may be considered excessive to recommend an entire canon of a poet’s work to read, so I will refrain from doing so. However, I was recently gifted The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath. Within this collection is a section entitled “Juvenilia,” containing poems that were written when Plath was somewhere around 25. As […]

Paisley Rekdal: Animal Eye

Animal Eye is the fourth collection from American poet Paisley Rekdal. As the title suggests, these poems frequently draw upon animals as conceits in order to make complex statements about life and love. This is some of the most thematically complex contemporary poetry I have encountered; Rekdal juggles multiple themes and ideas in each one […]

The Hour of the Pearl

            The Hour of the Pearl by Rhona McAdam stared at me from the library shelf, even as I was considering Margaret Atwood for this assignment. And while I esteem Ms. Atwood, McAdam’s stared at me till I picked it up, and then it was glued to my hand. I literally sat down in the […]

Another Way To Begin by Don Colburn

I picked the collection of poems by Don Colburn entitled, “Another Way To Begin,” and couldn’t put it down. His poems appear simple on the surface with titles such as “Wildflowers,” “Given,” and “The Wish,” but are rich with narrative and beautiful diction. Colburn is a writer and retired journalist for The Washington Post and […]

Theories of Falling by Sandra Beasley

    “I liked a trick, but what I loved was the reveal.” –The Green Flash A three part collection of memories, inquiries, and testimonies, Sandra Beasley captured my attention as soon as I opened to the first poem. Each part is titled appropriately and sets up a “front door” feeling to the poems within the section. […]

Take What You Want by Henrietta Goodman

Henrietta Goodman’s collection of poems entitled Take What You Want is captivating.  The poems all seem to interact in a way that deepens the reader’s understanding of Goodman as a writer, and the tone throughout is consistently complicated and difficult to identify.  There is a darkness to many of the pieces, and yet, there is no […]

Lisel Mueller: The Private Life

Lisel Mueller’s poetry in The Private Life captures a sense of trauma and sadness about Germany that might deal with her or her ancestor’s time in Germany before, during, and after WWII. The back of the books says she came to the U.S. from Germany when she was fifteen years old, around 1940. Mueller uses quotes […]

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