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« Meg Kearney: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] | Main | On Translating Baudelaire's Prose Poems for "The Paris Review" »

November 30, 2020


Thank you for writing this.

Love this poem!

Save for a hollowed-out tree trunk, there would be
no place for the dead to reassemble their limbs....

So beautiful -

If not for the alphabet ...
So Beautiful!

Beautiul. So many layers of beauty and I love the anaphora - so appropriate for the times.

She got me on the very first line...I will be mulling that over for days.

Three thoughts came to my mind. One was the comment made by a Professor I had in college who was teaching a course on Hemingway and Faulkner. He said this " you don't read Hemingway and Faulker, you have to study them." Second thought that came to mind was the complex and in many ways personal Jazz played by John Coltrane later in his career. Third is what Dylan said during the most productive period of his life about the lyrics that came to him, never to be duplicated again. He could not explain it.

Merci beaucoup ma cherie
C'est tres magnifique comme toujours

I love the way the poem gyrates with metaphors that immediately make sense, and those that play with the logical mind, and make wonder. The simple "Save for a shovel, there might be no heaven,"and then the intricate connections to the white shoes of the girl earlier in the poem. The line drawn from bear furs and fire places to kohl. Like someone else here, I also responded to the hollowed-out tree trunk. Love the anaphora form, which in this case repeats one thing depending on another. Thank you !

Joanne’s poetry clearly skirts the human condition. She takes you on a magic carpet ride, you cant get off.
Let’s talk about fluid language, vivid imagination, political satire, suspense, a sudden surprise, that “saucepan of water in the dry grass” offering love. And all in that brazen first person I. A poem of beauty. Thanks.

I find it interesting that poets with MBA's begin to sound alike.
The images here are strong yet the craft eclipses. This poem is filled with images thrown one after another, and the deeper inquiry is left untouched, drowning in a quirky inventive play of language, without risk, without exposure, (which is what our culture is made of, art is not far from the pulse) and our writers are being trained as business aficionados. I know that Dwyer is a serious poet, a praised poet, I find much of her work leaves me floating in a thick dependence on language, as though a riveting image were a message in a bottle. We end with sublime monsters. And what exactly are they? We are left on our own, without any clue as to Ms. Dwyers own monsters, standing in a lavender foray of metaphor, strung together with aphoristic sensationalism.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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