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Merrifield’s Tao of Poetry: By Karla Linn Merrifield

The Refrain Anne Whitehouse Dos Madres Press (2012) 97 pgs / $16 US

Hot lava kills 6 people as a volcano erupts. Police violate one man’s constitutional rights. One dead, 3 missing in flash flood. Bahrain deports American teacher for anti-government writings. A wave of violence shakes Iraq. An “orgy” of US drones targets Yemen terrorists.

Stop. Rethink. Begin again.

“Remembering Last Summer.” “Roses in November.” “Ellen’s Peerless Hands.” “Moon and Sun in Yoga Class.” “Dancing in Water.”

There, that’s more like it. Poem titles, not news headlines. Every sweet reason to slump down in my recliner and crack open a book of poetry, in this case, a powerful antidote to what ails humanity, titled The Refrain, by Anne Whitehouse. It is, in fact, a jewelry box or treasure chest of finely crafted works that sparkles (even in more somber moments) with all the panache of a Harry Winston necklace or Tiffany bracelet and promises a “golden thread of pleasure” (“Wish Fulfillment”).

“A wild elation filled me”

Beauty abounds in Whitehouse’s collection. Quite often you find that beauty in poems about her garden or farther afield in wilder nature. Take “Herbal,” for example, which is essentially a report card on her fire-escape garden of the previous year. Toward the end, as she replants for a fresh season, she lists several herb plants, then completes the stanza with a simple,

The Centrifugal Eye

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Tceautumn2013 jeweled  

The Centrifugal Eye - Autumn 2013. An online poetry journal of literary force to experience: poetry, essays, interviews, book reviews, and...

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