Andrew D. Cohen tries going back to the Old Country, Laura Glen Louis sings—and meditates on—Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Piotr Florczyk reviews the recent work of Jane Hirschfield, Mark Gustafson delineates the young Robert Bly in an unlikely gathering of his contemporaries in 1975.
Fiction from Ethan Chatagnier, Alison Hagy, Jane E. Martin, Matthew Pitt, Debbie Urbanski.
Poetry from Jim Daniels, Martín Espada, Katie Hartsock, Dennis Hinrichsen, L. S. Klatt, Lance Larsen, Cintia Santana, Diane Seuss.
Spring 2015 is now available! Order it in either print or pdf format for $7 or as part of a subscription for $25: Andrew D. Cohen tries going back to the Old Country, Laura Glen Louis sings—and meditates on—Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Piotr Florczyk reviews the recent work of Jane Hirschfield, Mark Gustafson explores the […]
What is it about the anxiety of possibility and the possibility of creative work that seems so inherently linked? As we’ve seen, this is where Lerner’s poet (and Leaving the Atocha Station) arrives at lyricism. The poet’s fear of not understanding—but wanting to appear as though he’s understood—results in these beautiful, roving chords of possible meanings. But because the possibilities can’t all simultaneously be true, the only way to capture them (or gesture toward capturing them) is to move toward the hypothetical, the subjunctive—in other words, to turn toward language, to speak them.
* poetry by Laura Kasischke from MQR 54:1 Winter 2015 *
Nothing’s perfect. Only
the first summer day I dipped
my son’s tiny toes
into the cold careless gray
of Lake Michigan.
Also, my second glimpse
of my second husband
who wasn’t my husband then.
A month ago, the world lost Tomas Tranströmer, the Nobel Laureate who also had a career as a psychologist working with youth and drug addicts. A number of his poems seem to arise from this work, from his concern for those living on the outskirts of society. By and large, these are not poems explicitly about people on the fringes, but rather poems that trouble the very idea of a civilization possessing outskirts. Why are some people forced to the edge and some comfortable in the center? Who draws the lines, and where? And, centrally for Tranströmer: what is possible in the middle spaces?