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Cave Wall - Winter 2007

  • Issue Number: Number 1
  • Published Date: Winter 2007
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

The title Cave Wall might hearken back to days of Neanderthals and primitive times, but don’t be fooled: this literary magazine contains highly sophisticated, polished poetry. Still, it’s deep, not posh – it manages to touch you in a primeval sort of way – the way you want poetry to. The elegant blue vine on the white cover of this smallish collection gives a more accurate overall impression of its refinement than the title. If you want “high poetry,” try Dan Albergotti’s poems. He references Eurydice in “Surprising the Gods,” “the Camaean Sybil’s Curse” in “The Gods Have Given Up on Immortality,” and “the diphthong between birth and death” in “Song 378.” He gives an otherworldly tone to his poetry that edge on the sublime. His best verse is “Lost Birds,” about his mother, whose chief entertainment is watching the birds outside her window. On the other hand, “earthbound,” “rustic,” and “pastoral” are words that might be used to describe the poetry by Jim Peterson. “Woodcreek1977” gives the reader a tellingly familiar, satisfying memory of a wild youth recalled though strikingly evocative imagery. Peterson deftly reassures us of the longevity of love as passion burns to embers. He knocks you out with his droll poem about the whimsical adventure of an old man squatting in an abandoned building who consults a face he has drawn with chalk. “Original Face” is a satisfying verse that could be a short short. However, the careful wording and ironic phrasing make it poetry. Claudia Emerson, with “Hoarder,” “Cat Lady,” and “After the Affair,” packs humor, tight imagery and what seems like pages of information into a few stanzas. We leave her poems feeling like we’ve made an acquaintance. With seven other superb poets represented, plus some innovative cartoon-like art by Dan Rhett, Cave Wall is a primal urge you must satisfy.

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Review Posted on July 31, 2007

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