Vance drapes “All Things Scarlet” in allusions—colloquial or personal—and metaphors intersect what is linear. In “From Primrose Hill,” the poet concretizes the poem in landscape imagery: “post-war tenement/brick ways, ” “many-wandered fields.” Metaphor reigns in “Untold Miles” in the first three stanzas but focuses on the “not-quite-lovers in the last.Read more.
Like a page from a memoir in “The New Adventures of,” the poet rejects her father’s rants and repulses an arranged marriage. A similar feat is fulfilled line by poetic line in “Opa,” the poet having found a fire-opal, “no opal omen of/ruin.” And in “When,” the poet pleas for racial justice and names the names, “Book of remembrance, book of tears.”Read more.
The metaphors of water and sun run through Beamer’s poetry, as if pool water and the smell of chlorine can “block the rest of the world,” and the sun’s sinking in the sea at night isn’t the same as drowning. So too “sunlight becomes a hard, palpable thing,” a corrective to her “winter blues.”Read more.
Read the titles first and enter Stone’s undiluted poetry with eyes wide open. Significance lies in the poet’s voice and imbalance of power in “You Ungrateful Girl”; in the descriptive tone and revealed irony in “Wrong Side Out”; and in the dare to unbury a rotting corpse like a metaphor of “rages” and “barbed words.”Read more.
In “The Dead Wall of Silence” the poet alludes to a partition against the backdrop of “sheep/and suckled cattle” in atypical dimeter and trimeter feet. In “Pieces,” he is not done with the fracturing: “Actual actions of schisms,” “splintered spectators,” “absolute absence”—just pieces. And in “Scratching Out Earth,” the poet faithfully renders the title in imagistic verse.Read more.
When you read a Hilles poem, you are inside a lyricism that doesn’t stop at the length of the poem but continues to move as if the poet has shown you how to be with love and life and soul, even if you have to eat sugar sandwiches. Read these poems and you will see.Read more.
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