A Raging Pandemic Inspires Poetry With Little Bite

By | December 14, 2020
A Raging Pandemic Inspires Poetry With Little Bite

A Raging Pandemic Evokes Poetry With Little Chew

Jane Hirshfield writes about rescuing an ant. Stephanie Burt’s washer breaks down. Elizabeth J. Coleman, within the kitchen, posts this replace on her inside Slack channel: “I hadn’t thought of how an orange is a miniature / reproduction of our planet till that afternoon.” As a result of each are spherical.

Credit score…Cameron Blaylock

Wild is the wind, in Rigoberto González’s poem “Desert Lily.” He writes: “The wind arrives not as a result of it’s known as / however as a result of it’s forgotten.” This arrives on Web page 46, which is in regards to the place the place many readers will gently set this ebook apart, hitch a masks up over the ears and leap out the window.

The pandemic has taken a toll on everybody, writers included; malaise is widespread, omnidirectional, multilayered. However as a result of one’s physique is just not as free because it was, does it comply with that the thoughts ought to be so fettered as effectively? The very best poems in “Collectively in a Sudden Strangeness” converse from uncommon promontories.

Danielle Chapman’s “The New Good” superbly scatters this ebook’s peaceable, simple feeling. Her poem is double-distilled, and composed as if from ice shavings and incivilities. “Now not should I be good to anybody / besides the individuals on this home,” she writes. “Niceness, it’s apparent to me now, / lets out what ought to be hemmed.”

Imply persons are not all the time good to know in actual life. However they’re great to satisfy on the web page. As if trampling this ebook’s egregious flower poems, Chapman appears to be like down and thinks:

However that is my property. I’ve determined
these daffodils or tulips are mine to maintain or kill.
Perennials rage up each Could alongside this edge —
an edge I would favor you retain your doggy off.

Diane Seuss, in her poem “Pandemicon,” thinks that the virus — “just a little spiked pink ball of demise”— resembles a canine’s chew toy. Tomás Q. Morín, in “Vallejo,” thinks it appears to be like like a pineapple upside-down cake. Each these poets are supremely proficient.

So is Catherine Cohen, whose frazzled “Poem I wrote after I requested you if cereal can expire” accommodates piles of twigs like “I put the flawed type of gasoline within the automobile and hate being alone” and “my kids will sort earlier than they’ll stroll.”

Extra good issues: Jericho Brown needs to color a mole close to the dimple below his masks, so he feels extra jaunty. George Inexperienced finds himself watching outdated biblical epics on tv, to wonderful impact. (“Rip Torn’s troubled Judas, a pathetic mook!”) Gail Mazur’s poem about unleavened bread, cosmic errors and cremation could be a keeper in any season.

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