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Cimarron Review - Fall 2006

  • Issue Number: Issue 157
  • Published Date: Fall 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

Just about to enter its fortieth year, Cimarron Review does not appear to be suffering from a midlife crisis—no new bells and whistles, just poetry, fiction, and essays. As usual, Cimarron Review excels with their selection of poetry. Emily Fragos delivers two devastating poems, “19 Chopin Waltzes” with its accusatory lines, “All the begetting: the weak limbs and soft bellies, / the faces elongated like the devil himself,” and “Insomnia” whose ending is one long shiver, “Even the chained lie down in the dark; / Soldiers, sick of shoveling muck and trench, dream of resting / Beneath blankets of snow. The herder grips tight the squirming / Sheep and shears it down to its pink, quivering skin.” Grace Shulman’s “Harp Song” also stood out, mostly for this breathless metaphor, “The bark is grooved like an islander’s face / as he sails out for bass with pots and trawl, / and in the worst storms sings in a raspy, // whiskey voice haul-aways learned from whalers.” The essays and fiction are less successful, but Claudia Putnam’s “White Lilac,” a novelistic story that stretches and sprawls over fourteen pages, puts as much space as possible into each word. Until Cimarron Review gets a cherry convertible and a flashy new hairpiece, it will continue to be one of literature’s most venerable and consistent sources of new work.

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Review Posted on January 31, 2007

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