Friday, May 18, 2007

Heron Sea Reviewed by Lynx

Dave Bacharach wrote a wonderful review of Heron Sea which is posted at Lynx, the online journal for linking poets.

However, as evocative as his three line poems are, it is in his tanka that Kei truly excels. In the wider five line form he is able to focus sharply on image and object, and then expand their meaning outward, with a kind of telescoping effect. This skill is apparent in a poem that recalls his Native American roots, the age-old sustenance the Bay area has provided, and the loss of a personal and collective future:

in a small museum
i stroke my hands over
Native stones,
weights for nets
empty of dreams

These little museums exist all across America-musty, unfrequented, one-room bastions doggedly holding onto a small town's past. On a visit, the poet touches an artifact, triggering a realization that suddenly expands to encompass past, present, and future. Again, the charged last line works both literally and as metaphor: The nets are empty of fish, empty of hope, empty of a viable future, not only for the first people that fished these waters, but, with a reference to environmental devastation, for all of us. It is no accident that in this poem, Kei uses the small "i."

You can read the entirety of the review at the link above.

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