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.
Reger’s poetry wraps you in narratives of love and pain, sadness and longing. There is no escape from the sadness in the ballad “An Old Song.” Neither is there from the death of two lovers whispering lullabies on the banks of the Tigris in “The Incident.” Nor from the longing in the lyrical poem “Acceptable.”Read more.
Huang knows her way around personification—the transference of human feelings and attributes to abstract concepts—and she crafts the poems “Purpose” and “Love” using this figurative device. The poet switches to a witty-metered play on words in the onomatopoetic poem “Frozen Dream” —gifted with alliteration and assonance.Read more.
In the prose poem “To Pain,” the poet addresses her pain directly and forces it to the surface, giving it an immediate presence. Employing the same rhetorical device—the apostrophe— in “I hear you’ve settled in,” the poet addresses her absent lover, inviting the reader to listen too. “Bosom Story” is a narrative and as reachable.Read more.
The poet’s voice in “Money Buys Your Freedom” and “Visible to the Eye” is direct, audacious, empowered. No beating around the bush; the poet points out that money can buy the law and a woman can become someone’s “wind-up doll.” Not so in “Searchlight.” The poet is an “Electra of sorts” and open to “accepting any substitution.”Read more.
Poetry can be abstract or concrete, but there is nothing abstract about Hoffman’s poetry. How about surgical intervention as poetic inspiration? Or, the sound of a motorcycle in the dark as a rude awakening? Or “Three Fates at Night” by the side of the car window one midnight . . . and the poet shudders.Read more.
As different in mood and voice as they are in thought and theme, these poems reveal the poet’s structural versatility, whether it is explicit narrative in “My Seventh Christmas”; poetic ambiguity in “The Wind Gibbers With Their Voices”; or jazzed- up meter in “Jaco Pastorius,” in honor of the great bass player.Read more.