cover image Prometeo


C. Dale Young. Four Way, $16.95 trade paper (76p) ISBN 978-1-945588-70-9

The contemplative fifth collection from Young (The Halo) explores the places and lineages that provide the raw materials for self-invention and subsequent reinvention. Like the flickering flames of Promethean creation, Young’s poems challenge concepts of uniformity, revealing them to be fleeting and illusory. “Fractured, divided to the quick, I am incapable// of being singular,” he writes of his own ancestry. Young engages with the history of the Caribbean, Europe, and Mexico, a history that is tied to deeper, often hidden realities: “We are of this dirt. We cannot/ be killed off, the old women say. And in the base pairs/ of our DNA, we discover the truth. One can hide/ many things, but the truth is always there.” There is a strong connection between identity and place in these poems, which Young traces in the language of nostalgia and familiarity: “Alone/ on the soft sand, the surf mumbled the old language./ Like my great-great-grandmother who visits me/ in dreams, it said: Salt or no salt, trust no one.” Young powerfully maneuvers through complex issues of multiethnicity and heritage in direct poetic language, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the many truths his collection reveals. (Feb.)