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Court Green - 2008

  • Issue Number: Number 5
  • Published Date: 2008
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

Court Green is a natty-looking 220 plus page paperback-sized journal with a pink plaid cover and a world of poetry inside. The first section contains absolute jewels, nothing off-the-wall or experimental, just good poems, a variety to pique every interest. For example, the whimsical “Sexy” by Jack Anderson: “The train stops and people leave – how sexy. / New people step in; they’re sexy, too. / That’s how it goes as stations pass: sexy.” It’s fun and sassy and everything summer should be, subway or no. In contrast to “Sexy,” Kevin Carollo’s “Do I Have a Doctor’s Note?” decries school violence by having a youth pose questions: “I didn’t make it / to the audition? / Because I still / had to learn / how to kiss fire?” He hooks the reader effectively with the tragedy and the greater question “Why?”

“Dossier: Sylvia Plath” contains nearly 100 pages and 63 poems by 49 poets, including Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror.” That masterpiece is inserted between “Arrow” by Lee Ann Brown and “Mirror, Mirror,” by Laura Mullen. While “Mirror” is written from the point of view of the mirror, “Mirror, Mirror,” is addressed to the mirror, pathetically, with the emptiness of one searching for validation that cannot be found looking at a physical reflection, most effectively: “Any answer you give me, / Any answer is only another / Question. The thin return / (Like a dime from a phone unanswered.)” Brown's “Arrow” is a clear play on the title “Ariel.” In this poem, Brown, while describing herself as a poetic offspring of Plath, joyously states she inherited “the part of her / that needed to live a happy life.”

The poetry inspired by Plath is much more varied, some avant-garde, a very gourmet experience. Sylvia must be pleased that her poems inspired such bursts of creativity and that she has been god-mother to so many diverse, devoted followers who carry the torch by working hard at the craft.
[english.colum.edu/courtgreen/]

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Review Posted on June 16, 2008
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