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Devils Lake review of Carpathia

[caption id="attachment_448" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Carpathia by Cecilia Woloch"]Carpathia by Cecilia Woloch[/caption] Cecilia Woloch's collection Carpathia is about distance, both physical and emotional. Her poems occupy a lush landscape where the natural world succumbs to loss, where "fat bees [fall] into the wine" and the ghost swans have "wings of death."  The highlights of this collection are her numerous postcard poems which feel balanced in their attempts to be both strange and authentic without becoming burdened with ironic oddity that I've seen so much in recent poetry. Her postcards move, making leaps with each new sentence, and their prose-poem form opens these poems up to be more peculiar in a way that's all-together successful. Here's an exempt from the ending of my favorite, "Postcard to I. Kaminsky from a Dream at the Edge of the Sea":
Hurry, I thought, and my hands were like birds. They could hold nothing. A feathery breeze. Then a white tree blossomed over the bed, all white blossoms, a painted tree. "Oh," I said, or my love said to me. We want to be human, always, again, so we knelt like children at prayer while our lost mothers hushed us. A halo of bees. I was dreaming as hard as I could dream. It was fast—how the apples fattened and fell. The country that rose up to meet me was steep as a mirror; the gold hook gleamed.

[Read the rest of the review in Devils Lake]


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