Review by Zvi A. Sesling
Online at Boston Area Small Press & Poetry Scene – Oct 31, 2010
This book of poetry really is a “show.” It is 8×10, hardcover
and provides 157 pages of poetry, followed by a bio of every
author. Moreover the authors are presented in alphabetical order
which is especially useful if you want to find the poem or author
As for the poetry, it has some old poetic friends like A.D. Winans,
Lyn Lifshin, Alan Catlin, but for the most part I am not familiar with
the poets, though their poems are of high quality and belong in “the show”
which is baseball talk for the major leagues.
Of the many poems a number caught my eye. Let me name just three: To My Daughter on a Fine Fall Day, by Carol Carpenter, Big Daddy by Carrie Jerrell, Remembrance by David Parke about a lost love which closes: At night when I stand in the chilled desert breeze/ and feel it lightly kiss my face,/I close my eyes and feel the phantom of your lips against mine.
The anthology has a penchant for personal poems as a good many of them are first person, though Lois Swann’s short poem (8 lines) is quite enticing:
The frost has left a simple beautiful pattern
on the black car roof
Like stars clustered or marcasite
threaded with silver.
Shivering, undressed, I find such marks sparkling
on the skin of my inner thigh,
The sign of you I am loathe to bathe away,
fearing to squander diamonds
To be sure there will be poems you do not like, but in 157 pages can you really expect
every poem to grab you? No, but in The Great American Poetry Show my guess the majority (probably more than a simple majority) will be enjoyable, and since every reader is different, many readers will connect with a number of the poems and poets.
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