Kathleen Ossip. Sarabande, $15.95 ISBN 978-1-946448-78-1
The rich fourth collection from Ossip (The Do-Over) finds wonder in quotidian experiences and objects that populate the speaker’s daily life: “the black T-shirt,” “small cat on the bed,” and the “tablets” that glow. Ossip juxtaposes traditional poetic forms with visual ones that use the page as a canvas. Despite their aesthetic variety, the poems are unified by a shared investment in perception and the boundary between the self and world. She writes in “[she sees]”: “Saw piles of unimportant objects; all the sentiments—/ empathy gentler than anger; anger better than complacence./ I cut clear through.” In the title poem, Ossip travels across the country with her daughter, offering brilliant and lyrical insights throughout: “Independence is an outmoded/ even dangerous concept/ but the three of us go see/ the fireworks on the river.” For Ossip, wonder is a “baroque pearl” that emerges from the speaker’s intellectual dramas and upheavals. While impressive in its thinking and its formal dexterity, certain elements of craft may feel familiar to readers, particularly as the poet delves into the store of tropes associated with writing from a place of amazement. That said, this collection is appealing in its perspectives, subjects, and formal gifts. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
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