Throughout these superb stories, there is a certain desolation, of the heart as well as of the landscape.
The omniscient narrator in Natura Morta is flawlessly neutral, allowing the images, the minimal action, and the character’s reactions to the events of this single day in a Roman square tell the story.
Robert Olen Butler chose his protagonist wisely. Christopher Marlowe Cobb is a man of both intellect and physicality, of thought and action.
In the superb “But where is the lamb?,” James Goodman takes up the numerous ramifications, moral and otherwise, of God’s chilling command to sacrifice Isaac and Abraham’s — perhaps more chilling — acquiescence.
“Heat” is a fictional interview in which Dickinson asks uncomfortably intimate questions and then imagines the answers Seberg might have given.
Rachel Hadas’ poems present deceptively calm surfaces, like a lake that hides its rich inner life beneath bright reflections of clouds and blue sky.
Poet Mel Kenne, like a desert ascetic, has pared away everything that is not essential -— no words have been wasted in the making of this collection.
The strength of the poetry is the ambiance it creates. Narrative is almost totally submerged in imagery, which may seem natural enough in verse but often is not the case.
While sound is certainly important, and language in the proper hands has its own music, syllabic harmonies need not be trumpeted as though they were the foundation of good prose.
“So There!” comes off as a poetic species of chick lit, its female characters desperate to break deadly dull routines, longing for more (not even sure what), but generally expecting the doorway to redemption —- a passage figuratively filled with light in their imaginations -— to be a man.