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Mezzo Cammin – Winter 2012

Volume 7 Issue 2

Winter 2012

Biannual Image

Kirsten McIlvenna

Mezzo Cammin is a journal “devoted to formal poetry by women.” The explanation of the title is explained as such:

Mezzo Cammin is a journal “devoted to formal poetry by women.” The explanation of the title is explained as such:

Our journal’s title, Mezzo Cammin, derives most recognizably from the opening line of Dante’s Inferno; more immediately, however, we borrow it from “Mezzo Cammin” by Judith Moffett (who, in turn, derived her title and theme from Longfellow as well as from Dante). Moffett’s satirical, twenty-three stanza poem about reaching middle age inspires not only through her dexterity in working with rhyme and meter, but leads us to hope, as well, that controversies about how to define “form” have, at last, ripened to middle age.

The issue starts with three poems from Diana Blakely. My favorite is “Charlotte Bronte’s Gloves” in which she makes references to Jane Eyre, Bertha, and Brocklehurst. It starts:

Hands lower to touch that wedding dress
And silk-draped hat on Jane Eyre’s bed.
Beyond windows, what should be the dead
Of winter comforts us with moony pollens,
A few blossoms on mostly still-bare limbs.
Last week’s snow melts. “Reader, I married him.”

Gail White’s poem points out several favors of being a woman: “No one minds if you’re not brave. / When the ship’s about to sink, / You’re the first the crew will save.” The poem ends by saying “Pity men their lives of stress: / You’re successful with much less.”

One of Susan Spear’s contributing poems orders the priorities over the course of a day between a couple, finishing all the day’s chores and errands to finally conclude: “What’s that? You’re bored? We could make love.”

Athena Kildegaard’s “Song” speaks of her mother, memories of coming home “to find her rolling crust or grating cheese” and how she “. . . only owned one sturdy bra / at any given time . . .”:

                   White rubber threads
escaped the cotton shell, the shoulder straps,
in a penny-pincher’s version of lace, curled
in delicate scallops across her skin. She bowed
to settle her breasts into the cups.

The table of contents lists the authors along with a phrase from one of their contributing poems, a great way to entice the reader to click the link to read more, and to find the poem with the quote. Other contributors include Terese Coe, Enda Coyle-Greene, Erica Dawson (featured poet), Nicole Caruso Garcia, Terry Godbey, and more.

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