In Drought Time
There are genuinely exquisite poems as well. Laura Kasischke's "Blizzard at the Chelsea Fair," with its mix of humorous narrative and conflicted maternal emotions, will likely become a standard anthology piece. "Village without a River" is a successfully ambitious long sequence about Chelsea by coeditor Smith. But I am particularly attracted to the little poems that try to capture small moments. The book ends with one by Chelsea's David Sing, a deceptively simple poem that subtly echoes a famous poem by William Carlos Williams. The title, "There Are No Poems Here," appearing where it does in the book, can only be ironic:
| There is a mower, wet with rain |
Against a stand of red cedar.
In the maple, a nuthatch
Walks up the tree and pokes suet.
I think it will be a long winter.
On the hill, the children
Yell and run and fall
Sounds echo from the willow
Which is here, as well
Raining yellow daggers
Across the green lawn.
Some of the poets and artists featured in In Drought Time present their work at Washington Street Gallery on Friday, December 2, and at Shaman Drum Bookshop on Thursday, December 8.
[Review published December 2005]