Black Iris

Jean Joubert, Author, Denise Levertov, Translator Copper Canyon Press $9 (120p) ISBN 978-1-55659-015-3
From poems inspired by paintings to reveries of childhood and meditations on the universe, Joubert fabricates verses whose rhythms have the texture of fables. discloses a world..... to fabricate? dis doan make sense..and, does the work consist of poems and reveries? not clear. where ?? In ``Standing Stones in the Forest,'' those who travel beyond the village encounter their mythical origins: `` . . . and in terror / we know now there's no turning back, / we'll have to keep walking, alone in the crescent moonlight / all the way to that heart which beats in the deepest forest / and desires us.'' Unfortunately, the visions are sometimes reduced to philosophical dullness, as in ``The Library,'' where the rich language of the first lines crumbles to indulgent speculation: ``My own books, too, / take up a half-shelfand what space remains / will be all that's needed, though I sense that / almost everything's left unsaid.'' Yet, overall, these poems approximate the palpable mysteries where ``the chill trees robed in salt and blackness / uphold the squalor, the marvel.'' This is a bilingual French-English edition. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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