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Poet Lore - Spring/Summer 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 99 Number 1
  • Published Date: Spring/Summer 2004

"Turn each page and imagine yourself out for a nice bicycle ride like the women on our cover," advise the editors. The cover photo (women bicyclists in 1885 by William H. Seaman) is indeed handsome, as is the eclectic work inside, carefully crafted, well chosen poems from five dozen distinctly gifted poets, and reviews of five important new books. As much as the individual poems, I appreciate the obvious care that has gone into the issue's overall composition, the deliberate attention to the poems' placement. There's considerable variety in tone, from Gerry LaFemina's "The Invention of the Monsters" ("What P.T. Barnum understood: normal folks want / to see the freaks"), to Marie Pavlieck-Wehrili's "Srebrenica" ("Red blisters on a gray field. No name / on the map. The anonymous open-air grave"), to Derek Pollard's "Everything as it Should Be" ("I love the smell of my kitchen, a kind / of gritty, meaty smell—the smell of lamb // roasting on an open spit") and a pleasing mix of narrative and lyric work. This issue David Lehman also introduces Jay Leeming, praising his "wit and intelligence." Leeming contributes eight poems, including a half-dozen ghazals, which, as promised, do exhibit an enviable intelligence: "Can you ask the one question that will scatter the dark, that will / repair the violin, heal the kingdom and set ringing all the stones?" [Poet Lore, The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. W-mail: . Single issue $9.] – SR

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Review Posted on June 30, 2004

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