Between Water and Song: New Poets for the Twenty-First Century
ISBN: 9781935210078

You need a certain level of consciousness/ mindfulness to appreciate poems. I suppose that applies to most aspects of life. The best and most expensive wine in the world tastes like water if we merely gulp it down.

Some poems in this collection made me re-read it over and over, replaying the imagery in my mind’s eye. Some poems just make me want to go “Yeah!”

The title itself was pure poetry (probably taken from the title of a poem by Maria Melendez, who’s also featured). I mean, “between water and song”… the sound that water makes while bubbling through a brook and cascading down a fall. Akin to a song, and yet not quite. But not to mean it’s incomplete, for poetry is music in a class of it’s own.

“It begins in the leaves,
a hush that precedes all weather…”
– Kevin Goodan’s “Theories of Implication”.

Some are concise, right to-the-point, profound in its simplicity. Like Ruth Forman’s “Risk”:

You cannot discover
new oceans
unless you have courage
to lose sight of the shore

Jay Leeming’s “Apple” is another favourite of mine, bringing out new perspectives from a seemingly ordinary thing (i.e. the fruit). I read this with a touch of familiarity and wonderment:

Sometimes when eating an apple
I bite too far
and open the little room
the lovers have prepared,
and the seeds fall
onto the kitchen floor
and I see
that they are tear-shaped.

BTW, Leeming’s “Supermarket Historian” is another nice one. And I’m not the only one who thinks highly of his works.

I’m inspired to write about my childhood, as a poem, after reading Terrance Hayes’s “The Blue Terrance” (excerpt):

I come from a long line hollowed out on a dry night,
the first son in a line of someone else’s children…

The collection is edited by Norman Minnick.

Ruth Forman
Ilya Kaminsky
Malena Morling
Kevin Goodan
Jay Leeming
Terrance Hayes
Luljeta Lleshanaku
Sherwin Bitsui
Maria Melendez
Valzhyna Mort
Eugene Gloria
Brian Turner
Joshua Poteat
Maurice Manning
Chris Abani
P312 – poet’s biographies.

In-cover page says: “The publication of this book has been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.”