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Atlanta Review - Volume 10 Number 2

Spring/Summer 2004

This summer the Olympics go home to Greece, and so does Atlanta Review in a “special commemorative issue for the Athens Summer Games, 2004” with a remarkable Greece Feature Section edited by formalist poet and Greek translator Alicia Stallings (Archaic Smile). Rachel Hadas’ lines from “Modern Greek 101” could well describe all the poems here: “These phrases, once lodged in your memory, / Will help you find your way, I guarantee…” A Special Feature Section includes the uncharacteristically somber and affecting “Bereft,” by Billy Collins: “I liked listening to you today at lunch / as you talked about the dead, / the lucky dead you called them, / …no more railway tickets in an inside pocket, / no more railway, no more tickets, no more pockets…” Though diversity (of form and subject) reigns here, Atlanta Review poems have commonalities. They have hearts and souls and aren’t embarrassed by that. They don’t conceal their complexity in the pretense that being alive is a minimalist experience. They respect language by continually asking of it the impossible, yet are accessible enough to speak to anyone with human DNA. And they remember that, though poems may be created in solitude, implicit in any poem’s existence is (somewhere out there) a reader, standing off in the distance of his own life, listening for something he can use, in whatever way he will. These poems know that words “have to be hammered in like nails. // If they’re not to be lost in the wind.” (“Poetics,” by Manolis Anagnostakis, translated. by David Connolly.) At just six dollars (only ten for a year’s subscription), Atlanta Review is a ticket to Greece no poetry lover can afford to pass up. [Atlanta Review, P.O. Box 8248, Atlanta, GA 31106. E-mail: . Single issue $6.] – AS

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Review Posted on July 31, 2004

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