Notes on the Poetry Selections

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May 2, 2018 by The Citron Review

Happy spring! As erratic as the weather has been in Asheville, North Carolina (and in many parts of the country), many of us are finding time to get outside, get our hands in the dirt, or just walk around, admiring the color and anticipation of renewal. It is no coincidence that April is National Poetry Month and that images associated with spring are a motif in poetry.  I can think of many poets who have singled out spring, the month of April, or spring-like images in their work. The late John Ashbery comes to mind. From “Fragment”: “The last block is closed in April” — which is ironic that April would represent a closure. Though I would have to review the poem again to see how “spring-like” it is, if at all.

The poetry selections for this issue radiate energy, though that energy manifests itself in different forms. We took two poems a piece from Lisa Cheby and Adriane Sevile, as we wanted to show a richer, fuller expression of their work. Each one of these poems reminds me of the first line in Adriane Sevile’s “XXV”: “I carry your song though the day.” Song, here, as it applies to these poems, could be the trace of a lover, as near as the flowers or thorns outside our window, ghost-like and warm at the same time. Or song might be the “rhythm section of rubber and asphalt,” but one that also opens on “a saffron and sage watercolor of mountains” in Lisa Cheby’s “Bumbling Through.” Cheby’s poems recognize the separateness and inseparability of observation; they evolve elegantly, powerfully, and without an agenda. Similarly, Seville paints. She paints narrative with clean, vivid lines. So while the exact quantity of color and feeling remain hidden, we can see clearly they are there.

Eric Steineger
Senior Poetry Editor
The Citron Review

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Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

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