It is dangerous business to invoke the name of a great poet in a poem – it can either come across as pride, earned or otherwise, or it can send the reader off to scan the pages of that giant. I found this to be the case when reading Howard Schwartz’s “Yehuda Amichai in the Heavenly Jerusalem.” As the title suggests, the poem is at once whimsical and visionary, but it does not pull off this combination nearly so well as Amichai himself did. While many of the poems in this collection have the compression and marvels of fables, I kept finding myself wanting more – more risk in the language, more urgency in the lines. Dreams are a subject of many of these poems, and while the unconscious can be a powerful accomplice to the imagination, I often felt like I was reading a dream journal rather than a collection of poems.
Breathing in the Dark
Jason Myers is a writer whose work has appeared in AGNI, BOOKFORUM, and Tin House.
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