Saturday, January 2, 2010
What I'm Reading: Lit Windowpane
33º and sunny side up
Joining the Goodreads 2010 Poetry Readers Challenge is turning out to be a good thing so far. I just posted my first review! Being a good Midwesterner with a strong Protestant work ethic, I love that I can kill two birds with one stone by posting my review on Goodreads and then putting it here as well. Yay me! In any case, on to the more important words: my thoughts on Suzanne Frischkorn's book Lit Windowpane.
I "met" Suzanne Frischkorn through her blog: Lit Windowpane and ordered her book of the same title. I just finished the book this morning, and it is lovely.
Frischkorn writes fresh, short lyrics. Being a writer transfixed by place may be why I'm drawn to these poems, although they are not of "my" place (the Midwest). Frischkorn writes of New England and specifically of Connecticut. This is a wet world of rivers & ocean, rain & snow. In the opening poem, "Puccini at Dusk" the speaker confesses "I'll do anything / for beauty" and that sets the tone for the rest of the book.
"Watermark" is my favorite poem. It begins, "Valley of stars, lace, caulk, molten glass: / the glassine envelope of my womb; its water table rising." This poem is quite short, but packed with images and language that rolls off the tongue. The best poems in the book pack this kind of punch.
Another favorite is the litany poem "A Friend Asks, What's to Forgive?" Here is the opening, "Forgive me. I can't name the scarlet birds / that dart through the bramble." And the poem ends on this wonderful note, "And forgive the catmint, / the cosmos, and the black-eyed Susans, // for their tenacious grip on dry earth."
Frischkorn had me looking up several words as I read, which is always a delight. Here are the words I either learned or re-learned: tessellated, hyson, greisen, clerestory, noctilucent, and paean (re-learned that one!).
This is a book I'm sure I'll return to again.
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Main Street Rag, 2008