There is only the dance of poetic rhyme in O’Brien’s poetry, as embodied in the poem “Pegasus,” a moral tale unencumbered by abstraction or opaque allusions: “Rejoice and kick up/the dust/in your/every advance,” the poet commands.Read more.
There is a subdued presence in McAllister’s poetry, as if she is whispering in your ear: feel the sensuous in “Vertigo, NC”; see the fox emerge from the trees in “Wisp”; and in “To My Daughter” know “a temple in the mountain.”Read more.
When a poet uses figurative language like Soule in “Shipwrecked,” you feel the extended metaphor or conceit alive in the paradox that the men on board will perish, “becoming pearls, their skin coral.” Ditto “A Book Like Mine” and quicksand.Read more.
Translated from Russian, Blizniuk’s poetry is imbued with concrete images that place you within their parameters, and yet the abstract moves ever so closely to a Universe of billions where “someone has torn out a wire from the cable of the humanity.”Read more.
This is not easy, this telling a story through images that don’t miss a beat in the poetic line, and to tell it so completely, as L’Heureux “La Sabtranenque” and “Leaves” do through the perspective of “I” and the consistency in voice and mood.Read more.
To read “thee” and “thou” and “ne’er” and “‘tis” in “The Raven and the Stone” and “Dolphin Song” is like returning to the world of poetry in the 18th century. In Jewett’s hands, this poetic composition is simultaneously playful and dramatic.Read more.
Read Pasagiannis poems quietly, as they offer you an opening to the ethereal and spiritual and mysterious. Each poem breathes its own poetic nuance in form and content, but they gather the difference in “Navigating Silence”: “just listen.”Read more.
Bats, the revenant gloam, and impermanence are the subjects of Mulvihill’s poetry here. Yes, their commonality may not be obvious, but Mulviill’s storytelling marks her poetry—personal and unequivocally forthright. Her voice is her truth.Read more.
Ever heard of the “Dedekind Cut?” Sarnat explains the second part as the “partitioning of philosophical arguments,” and goes on to reveal an ironic vulnerability in “Triangles Reconstructed: Dad’s Last Hospitalization . . . .”Read more.
Reading Zvereva’s poetry is like entering a lush garden of words that find meaning in their juxtaposition, and the senses dominate while reason takes a back seat, if only for a little while. Feeling pulls you toward the understanding and not knowing.Read more.
Mindful of the philosophical and spiritual, Keshran gives readers an option: they can read at the surface of his poetry or they can move like “the current of the river” and choose “to seek what lies beyond this earth.” There is magic here.Read more.
Stanton’s poetry pulls beyond the words on the page. Is it a search for the “suchness” of things, the true self, the true reality? The poet refuses to be trapped in his corporeality to divine the “whatness” of self: “Tathāgata will be my next child.”Read more.
Metaphysics pervades Griffin’s poetry, as the references to Newton, Heraclitus, Isaac, and Spinoza’s famous Deus sive Natura are instructive. Pay attention to the titles: “We Are, We Were,” “Think Tragedy, Feel Comedy,” and “Are We Equal Yet?”Read more.
An existential fear of unknowing in Heather’s poems is made most explicit in “Dark Sun,” but it is also present in “nag, stone” and “confessing,” irrespective of the irony. Named: “this terror towards time” and “the swirling chaotic mystery of my past.”Read more.
The transient nature of life is nowhere more keenly perceived as in Ryder’s poem “Forms.” The irony is obvious: “When I die the world will stop spinning,” and then this: “I will be a form, a shape, a number, a colour, a sound.” A transitory traveller.Read more.
Their mother is proud and calls them her famous sons on television no less. Except: Billy and Danny are videotaped stripping the renovated church, whereas Jacob absconds with the wad of cash leaving his brothers to pay for the crime.Read more.
After her mother’s death, Gretchen gets a call from Miguel inviting her to retrieve her mother’s possessions. When she visits, she notices new wallpaper and a Persian rug. But she sees something else—an unexpected insight into her mother’s next life.Read more.
Gen chased insurgents, rode Humvees across Iraq, peeled walls with the .50 caliber machine gun. Once when he got back home he grabbed his pregnant wife Karen to dig a foxhole in the front yard and she wants mangoes in the morning.Read more.
Around a tiki bar in Ecuador, visitors from Germany, Canada, Texas, and California recount their travelogues, holding forth for hours on end. And then there is the reticent Scotsman who sees a new tale beginning—in the surf’s retreating tide.Read more.
Mark Krainin disappeared ten years ago. Signs went up: Tommy Luna, Dorothy Copewell, Andrea Whitman, Justin Kint, and Edith Maynard. Ash Denton talks to them and everyone thinks he has lost his mind. And then it happens.Read more.
Adenocarcinoma lines his lungs; not what Richard wants to hear. He plays the tape of his father on the ledge, in the air, plunging seven floors down. Richard wonders if he himself had “always been falling and only now looked down.”Read more.
On a blank page a poetic story is told about the woman who finds her light in the moon amid the darkness and solitude; who opens like a flower; who is timeless and makes your heart beat faster. You want to hold her and never let her go. Who is she?Read more.
Robbins didn’t know herself before she was a mother at twenty, but she was determined to know herself as an adult. This is her story about the tension between motherhood and ambition, and how she didn’t allow ambition to lose.Read more.
Follow Makovetsky’s exegesis of Ishion Hutchinson’s poem “Homage: Vallejo” and you are in a world of awareness in which Hutchinson uses Vallejo’s lens to talk about “being born black in a racist America”—one of Makovetsky’s many insights.Read more.