Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

"Glorying in the language and the hope"

You may find a post at Elizabeth Adams's Phoenicia Publishing commenting on the review of Thaliad by poet Rachel Barenblat, aka Velveteen Rabbi, here. The full review can be found at Velveteen Rabbi.

In our era when poetry books often go without a greeting from the world, I am especially grateful for Rachel Barenblat's time and care in penning (or keyboarding!) a strong and lovely review.

Here is a clip:

The epic poem form is not an easy one, and in lesser hands this audacious project would have failed...but Marly makes it work. The subject matter, postapocalyptic survival, is grand enough to merit the form she's chosen -- and the children's journey is told with deep sentiment but no cloying sentimentality. This is a beautiful and powerful book -- worth owning, worth reading and rereading. I am so glad that it exists in the world and that I can turn to it, time and again, glorying in the language and the hope:
The promise harvest years would be ahead,
For conifers and oaks, the hickories
And walnuts, spruces, pines were blossoming
And clouding air with fertile shining silt
That somersaulted in a beam of sun,
That changed the spiderwebs to something rich,
That kissed the surfaces of Glimmerglass
And turned its scalloped border into gold,
That moved across the air as if alive,
The landscape's bright epithalamion,
The simple golden wedding of the world.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful review indeed! I commented over there...

    How I've been wishing for more quiet time to finish Thaliad without interruption, and now I'm busy back at the printmaking studio! I think I shall have to lock myself into an ivory tower somewhere :-)

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  2. Glad you liked it, and hope you find a perfectly cunning ivory tower with carved nooks and crannies--and all terribly old, with faint, almost readable inscriptions!

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  3. Thaliad is quite tremendous -- I'm so glad to have read it (for the first time; I don't doubt that I will read it again) and I hope the review sends a few more readers your way!

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  4. Thank you, Rachel--

    I am honored that the Velveteen Rabbi found it worth reading and reviewing! And I, too, hope it will be a signpost for readers.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.