Friday, July 14, 2006

The Art of Reviewing Poetry: Mulling over the new Rachel Hadas Collection, The River of Forgetfulness

I spent my evening reading the new poetry collection by Rachel Hadas, The River of Forgetfulness. Now I feel like I've got to punch holes in my own surface, like you would in a pound cake before pouring a flavored or liqueured glaze onto it -- need to let these poems soak in a bit, so that I can see and feel them as both emotional packets, and well honed blades of the art. Hadas is a classicist, a professor at Rutgers; like her father Moses Hadas and her half-brother David Hadas, she swims in a river of classical Greek and earlier imagery. So another next step for me, as I mull over how to talk about the collection, is to reflect on other poets who tug at this river of material to ground (or flood!) their work.

Any thoughts on what reviewing poetry demands of us?

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