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Rain Taxi calls Dobyns book a 'poignant collection about love, life'

In a new Rain Taxi review of Stephen Dobyns's poetry collection The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech, reviewer Jennifer van Alstyne calls the book "a poignant collection about love, life, and the slow wisdom that 'all stories are sad when they reach their end.'"

Noting the collection's focus on the hard, ephemeral truth of mortality, the review says: "Even though Dobyns presents time as both stagnant and looming, it is also relentlessly linear. There is a sense that at every moment we are each approaching our own deaths, and with each death, each memory 'seems so real that the latest / realization of a death
can come a second, / smaller death.' Even stationary objects in Dobyns’s collection aren’t without their movements, though they move 'little faster than raindrops sculpt a rock,' witnessing human interaction as a blur of color and movement, a train to Einstein’s stationary viewer.

"Dobyns, whose earlier poetry collections have won prestigious awards including the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and the Melville Cain Award from the Poetry Society of America, becomes, in this elegiac collection, a poet attempting at truth, even its most painful and even selfish admissions."

The review concludes: "Largely confessional in nature, Dobyns's exercise in grief is one to be witnessed."

This review appears in the Winter 2016 issue of Rain Taxi. Click here to subscribe.

The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech is available now at the BOA Bookstore.


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