Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mastery …

… That Formal Feeling | by Elisa Gabbert | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Stallings may be so immersed in form that her thoughts arrive already dressed in it—or maybe they arrive formless, but she so enjoys the game of arranging those thoughts into patterns of meter and rhyme that almost any occasion will do. She moves freely between the mythic and the quotidian, between epic and modest scales—one poem, “Lost and Found,” begins with a search for a misplaced fragment of toy (“Some vital Lego brick or puzzle piece”) and ends up traveling to a Valley of Lost Things set not in Oz but on the moon. Others remain firmly domestic; the muse might arrive while the speaker reseasons a cast-iron skillet (as in “Cast Irony”) or picks lice or glitter (two separate poems, “Lice” and “Glitter”) from a daughter’s hair.

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