Category: Poetry Reviews

A review of Totem by Luke Davies

This is a very concentrated piece of work, a poem cycle if you will which touches on the biggest and most important themes – love, life and death in its broadest most cosmological sense, and the relationship between these. Keeping…

Interrogations at Noon by Dana Gioia

The variety and range is considerable with such a brief collection. I found myself unable to complete the reading process when I reached the last poem in the book and went back to the beginning to reread some of the…

A review of The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney

The difference is startling but the poetry is unmistakable and convincing in its authenticity. But may it be the authenticity of Heaney rather than of Sophocles? Reviewed by Bob Williams The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney Faber and Faber…

A review of The Gods of Winter by Dana Gioia

Poetry is not popular, perhaps because unlike fiction it demands a reader capable of giving all of his or her attention to the text. Dana Gioia’s own book (Can Poetry Matter?) is the best examination of the problems that poets…

A review of Nosferatu by by Dana Gioia

The poetic needs of a libretto can be reduced to very few. The words assist the music and are absorbed into it. Music must bolster up the more pedestrian passages but needs effective words to support dramatic action and vivid…

A review of The Body’s Question: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

Her poems are unpretentious, intelligent and consistently arresting by their beauty and their honesty. This is another triumph for Graywolf Press which seems unable to publish any but distinguished books. Reviewed by Bob Williams The Body’s Question by Tracy K.…

A Review of Wild Surmise by Dorothy Porter

The power and beauty of Porter’s poetry takes the reader instantly deeper into the character than a more traditional narrative prose would. It skips the conjunction, the “dialogue” and the external world, and goes straight for the emotional response, revealing…