Showcasing fourteen poets, Thrush emphasizes melody found in poetry. The magazine takes its name from the thrush, a species of bird whose songs are, regarded by some, the most beautiful in the world. “We love that and that is how we feel about poems,” say the editors. “We hope to provide you with the best poetry available to us.”
Reading Hélène Cardona’s poetry feels like walking outside through a misty night, lightly treading as if you were hardly walking at all. “Night Messenger” is about a dream where the narrator encounters a penguin, drifting down the river on a leaf. “. . . this stream is your life,” he says, “instead of watching from the meadow, / flow within its rhythm.” And the narrator does, lying on a leaf in the river, entering a different world.
And the melody in Meg Cowen’s poetry is in the word choice and pairing. In “The Woodsman and I Fight on a Train to Ohio” is great to listen to just for its sounds:
You’re hunting with pointed fingers, pushing
my weight to the upper bunk where I cannot be
your quick-fingered gatherer, collecting truffles
that bloom on the path of your spine. Pockets
of snow are ghosting between penitent trees.
You say you wish you could thaw just about anything.
Caleb Curtiss ignores the poetic description of place in “Cup & Saucer,” because in this poem, it’s not the important part:
The bay was a bay, the ocean an ocean:
I could tell you more about them,
but they don’t matter as much as the kind of knowing
that overcame me upon seeing him there,
looking down as the tide sucked at the rocks,
the barnacles, a full story beneath his toes:
the serenity that comes in knowing how the world
could change suddenly, irrevocably:
the serenity in knowing how the friction
that keeps us here
won’t hold forever.
Danez Smith finds music in the home, in the everyday, in his poem “solitude”:
footsteps of the ghost you know must be here
her laugh her nails on the door her eyes blinking
The other featured poets include Heather Fowler, Jackson Holbert, Chloe Honum, David McAleavey, Kylan Rice, Sundin Richards, Beate Sigriddaughter, Sarah Sweeney, Jeanann Verlee, and Jeff Whitney.