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Posts Tagged ‘Joan Hutton Landis’


Jane Hirschfield has a series of poems in Poetry Magazine this month, examining the quiddity of things.  Hah, a chance to finally use that word somewhere.  ;->  Now, on the not inconsiderable chance that I am misusing it, what I mean is exploring their whatness — what makes things what they are.  From Fado: “Which amazes more, // you may wonder:  // the quarter’s serrated murmur // against the thumb // or the dove’s knuckled silence?”  Or, from “My Weather.”  “A cup holds // sugar, flour, three large rabbit breaths…”  It even reaches her titles: “Things Keep Sorting Themselves”  which contains the line, “Does the butterfat know it is butterfat…?”  It’s an interesting series of poems.

Joan Hutton Landis has a marvelous poem, “The Plan,” filled with tightly-packed rhymes: “Remembering Ann // whose beauty began…”  It seems as though it’s going to be fun, but then it goes somewhere else.

Frederick Siedel, whom we just saw in this week’s New Yorker, also has a fun-then-a-twist poem, “Snow,” which I won’t quote cuz it’s too short.  They do like short, rhymed poems in this mag; and generally, because there is nowhere to hide in such poems, these are among the best poems the magazine offers each month.  I also like his “Mount Street Gardens,” rhyming staggers and Jagger’s, among other interesting things.

The final poem I’ll mention is Deborah Paradez’ “Wife’s Disaster Manual,” a powerful villanelle worth rereading a few times.  More can be squeezed out with each reading.  “When the forsaken city starts to burn…”

Peace in poetry,

P M F Johnson

My eBook of poems, Against The Night, a sweet, rueful look at love in a long marriage, is available on Amazon, and at other fine e-retailers.

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