Critical Comments

Critical Comments

 SAND & OTHER POEMS (1971)

“Greinke shatters the detachment of some very striking images with a vibrant personality, putting the poet at the center of poetry. He hits us with a rare craftmanship, combining swift, concise images with the unadorned minute experience Dos Passos called ‘the only business of poetry’.”     -Jospeh Dionne, in THE TRAVERSE CITY EAGLE

THE LAST BALLET (1972)

“I find Eric Greinke’s work particularly fascinating and inspiring. There’s a deliberate duplicity of meaning in all his writing, obsessed with the ambiguities of both life and language and delightedly exploring those nuances and half-lights as his work proceeds.”       -Peter Thomas, in THE SAULT EVENING NEWS

10 MICHIGAN POETS (1972)

“His style has always appealed to me: the declarative statements like mystical aphorisms. Greinke’s work, is for me, like Rimbaud’s prose poems – surrealisitic yet precise and detailed. I have this same kind of confidence and reaction to both poets – that this is literature.”     -Kirby Congdon, in AMARANTHUS

“Greinke writes a kind of heightened imagism or re-defined symbolism. His work is mysterious and powerful, relying on the use of crypticisms and ambiguities. The effect is that of making the reader the poet, with the poet acting more as a spiritual medium.”     -Robert Swets, in THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS

IRON ROSE (1973)

“Greinke deals with the penetration of the impenetrable, the struggle of love in a brutally forbidding world. Surely controlled metaphors, strikingly simple yet invitingly complex.”     -David Greisman, in ABBEY

THE CYMBAL CRASHES – POEM & NOTES (1973)

“(A Greinke) poem, like the sections of Jerzy Kosinski’s “Steps”, is composed of short, nonlinear but cumulative statements. Greinke’s power lies in concrete description and terse, tight comparison. Greinke has made a gesture which I’ve long awaited.”      -John Jacob, in MARGINS

THE BROKEN LOCK (1975)

“Greinke has magically melted several worlds together. I’d call it Whitmanic rorschach: a wild high!”     -William Harrold, in THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“Greinke has put a lot of thought into context and structure. His poems are filled with simple images which have a deeper meaning and keep the reader interested throughout.”     -M.C. Eichman, in WISCONSIN REVIEW

SELECTED POEMS 1975-2005 (2005)

“Like Japanese poems in translation, his poems are often simple and unadorned. He makes apt use of poetic techniques, such as meter and slant rhyme. These poems are extremely accessible and yet surprisingly deep, like ordinary speech heightened.”     -Alyce Wilson, in WILD VIOLET

“Eric Greinke provides us with a convincing album of snapshots of a private landscape, and lets us see the intensity of life and activity in a season and in a place we would ordinarily shun as one to live in, let alone write poems about. The poems are short, vivid and chilling, much like an ice cube in your lap that has fallen out of your whiskey sour.”     -Kirby Congdon, THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“It’s been said that the true mark of art is to make people think.  In his latest book, Eric Greinke does just that.  Greinke’s poems are surreptitious creatures, seemingly up front at first, then grabbing hold of the reader’s psyche and taking it for a ride.”     -Julie Bonner Stevenson, in THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS

“Eric Greinke’s infinite variety has never staled nor withered.  His poems have the surreaistic magic of Magritte or the young Dali.  He is an eclectic poet for all seasons and all times of the day.”     -Leslie H. Whitten, Jr., columnist, WASHINGTON POST

“Greinke seamlessly weaves together the vibrance of the naturalist with the unsettling images of dream worlds and mimes.  His collection of work from more than three decades establishes Eric Greinke as an accomplished poet, seeing both worlds seen and unseen.”     -POETSWEST

THE DRUNKEN BOAT & OTHER POEMS FROM THE FRENCH OF ARTHUR RIMBAUD (2007)

“The poems are brief, yet flower with sparkling beauty, embodying the human yearning for freedom and the poet’s struggle to release himself from convention. A wondrous collection, featuring verses that beg to be read aloud in either tongue.”     -THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“I’m attracted to Greinke’s approach for several reasons. First, because he’s a poet who’s unapologetically trying to translate poetry into poetry. A tough proposition requiring shameless intuition and not only the courage – but the inner need to risk ‘poetic flight.’ The need to work without a net. Another reason I’m attracted to Greinke’s approach is that for him, Rimbaud is a labor of love, not a “project.” In his introduction, he talks about a feeling of déjà vu when first encountering Rimbaud. And describes what seems an almost compulsive sense of appropriated ownership. An annoyance at the existing translations. ‘A need to do his own.’ To a non-translator, these feelings may sound a little over the top. But to any one who translates poetry – they’re instantly recognizable. Greinke’s only saying what most poetry translators think, but usually think twice about saying. I’ve often felt a translator needs to look beyond the words and beneath the text for the roots of the original poem. What really differentiates Greinke’s version is that it reads like a poem written in English. And I think this was accomplished by tapping the roots as well as the words of the original. By “internalizing” the original and letting the new poem shape itself in the new language. Rather than forcing the French into English.”     -Art Beck, in RATTLE

“For music, for the flow, the force of the spirit, Greinke is the easy winner. Although the auditory music of Rimbaud is impossible to capture in English, Greinke is true to the inner music, while giving a sense of the flow of the original. His language is sensuous and wild and feels right.”     -Harry Smith,  in THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“Greinke’s renderings come across with such a remarkably contemporary feel, that he easily gets away with the occasional use of words like ‘car’ and ‘suburbia’.  This little collection boasts many fine poems.  The Drunken Boat is wild and lovely and perhaps the poet’s most vivid expression of his desire to find a life of total freedom.”     -Edward J. Hogan, in ASPECT

“The images are lovely, lush and luxuriant.  Rimbaud comes across as an artist in love with love, with art; in love with the romantic notion of the poet trying to free himself from convention.  The poems here can only be described as rich: with both metaphor, and music.  Greinke has produced an accessible and evocative piece of work.”     -Doug Holder, in THE CHIRON REVIEW

WILD STRAWBERRIES (2008)

“Eric Greinke’s poems, like messages in a bottle, found after so many years of being afloat, are the experiences of being within, the experiences of being in nature. Each poem is a cathedral of actuality, of thought, of inspiration. He has the rare talent to walk with our environment, to bring us a profound lesson that nature often has if we listen to the ice crystals or growing green. He takes our hand and shows us what we have forgotten to look at.”     -Irene Koronas, in POESY

“The true mark of art is making people think – and poet Eric Greinke does just that.  “Wild Strawberries” is a quick compact dose of solid, effective poetry.  His variety should keep the book fresh from the front cover to the back cover.  Recommended to poetry lovers everywhere and to any comprehensive poetry community library.”     -THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“Eric Greinke’s Wild Strawberries is an ambitious work.  Mostly imagistic, these poems have a surface matter of factness, but with deft insight.  Nature poetry, global visionary video, horror story in the best traditions of Hollywood gore – as I said at the outset, this book is an ambitious undertaking.   Readers with wide-ranging tastes and free-flying imaginations may swoon over this book for its varied content and technique.”     -Richard Swanson, in FREE VERSE

“As a poet, Greinke is hard to pin down. His poems are imagistic with touches of surrealism, but he’s not really an imagist or a surrealist in the purest sense. I found more than a passing kinship with magic realism in his poems, but, again, he’s not a magic realist. Rather, Greinke is very much his own exotic animal. Wild Strawberries is a triumph for poet, Eric Greinke, and a gift to readers of poetry everywhere.”     -John C. Erianne, in THE 13TH WARRIOR REVIEW

“Eric Greinke writes with a cosmological ease in Wild Strawberries which in a breath combines the sensuality of the strawberry with the metaphysical ponderings of ghosts, spirits and zombies. Here is a clear, personal poetic testimony by an American poet that poetry is meaningful and understandable.”     -David Stone, in BLACKBIRD

“Please don’t miss reading Wild Strawberries. The poems seem so gentle and easy to take in, but then you understand there is a deeper meaning, a relationship is being explored, and you find yourself thinking about his poetry all day, and I mean really thinking.”     -Carol Borzyskowski, in MAIN CHANNEL VOICES

“Greinke writes across a rather broad spectrum. He knows nature intimately, and he’s not afraid to let his imagination float and flutter and soar. That boldness takes a certain kind of courage. His lines are written with vigor and thought, a pretty potent combination.”     -John Berbrich, in BARBARIC YAWP

“The author cannot be identified by his poems, rather his poems identify him. He doesn’t write in one particular style or mood. The tone of his poetry is as varied as the topics he writes about. He writes of his memories, of nature, of everyday life and does so in a manner that brings out the essence of being human and transports the reader to the mystical place that resides in each poem.”     -Amber Rothrock, in THE ILLOGICAL MUSE

KAYAK LESSONS  (2009)

“In Greinke’s hands, kayaking becomes as poetic as anything can be, a metaphor for living. If you do not yet own an Eric Greinke book, this might be the one to start with.”     -Judy Swann, in VERSE WISCONSIN

“By themselves, Greinke’s prose poems are charming observations about a sport and that sport’s relationship to life–charming, of course, being used here in the positive sense of the word. But as a group of pieces and arranged in this particular order, they become the river itself. This structure, combined with Greinke’s incisive eye for the river’s beauty and liveliness and a profound, even Transcendental spirituality, make this small book a moving journey for those who undertake it.”      -THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE

“Practical, often metaphoric, and slyly amusing advice in prose poem form.”     -ICONOCLAST

CATCHING THE LIGHT – 12 HAIKU SEQUENCES (2009)

“Like two monks letting sand sift through their fingers, Elsberg and Greinke create a Mandela, blow us away with nameless signatures. This chapbook is a keeper, a continuous picker-upper.”     -WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW

“The clarity of imagery in their work (Elsberg/Greinke’s Catching The Light – 12 Haiku Sequences) is striking, and the speed with which they present those images reveals how the transience of natural beauty is like that of our own thoughts. They invite us to experience the intimacy of desire, loneliness, and suffering–often using their wit.”     -Amanda Newell, in EASTERN  SHORE WRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER

“Two well-established poets/editors/translator/publishers try their hand at haiku sequences in a manner reminiscent of John Brandi and Steve Sanfield in No Other Business Here (1999) and Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in Braided Creek (2003). Elsberg and Greinke’s writing is definitely on the ‘poetry’ end of the haikai genre, often as not forsaking seasonality, internal comparison, and Oriental aesthetics for vibrancy of image and beauty of language.”     -MODERN HAIKU

“I can only impress on the reader to explore further for themselves. Should haiku ever be accused of being bland, then Catching The Light must be the ultimate counter-argument. There are individual ku here, if not whole sequences, which are guaranteed to stay with you for a good long time.”     – Helen Buckingham

THE POTENTIAL OF POETRY (2011)

The Potential of Poetry by Eric Greinke is one of those books that you know is important, even if you’re not sure why. ‘Good things come in small packages,’ as the old saying goes.”     – Jim Barnes, INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, JENKINS GROUP

The Potential of Poetry is a collection of essays from Eric Greinke, which discuss the role and purpose of poetry in today’s world as an art form and in the world as a whole. Simple and profound work with plenty to muse on literature and art in general, The Potential of Poetry is a choice addition to literary studies collections.”     -James A. Cox, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

The Potential of Poetry is a short book of seven essays about poetic practice… This is an enjoyable and insightful overview of the poetry scene that is well worth reading.”     -Arnold Skemer, THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“This is Greinke at his best, advocating at the cutting edge of human growth in consciousness and love, and doing it with poetry.”     -Ann Wehrman, POETRY NOW

TRAVELING MUSIC (2011)

Traveling Music is a solid addition to any community library poetry collection.”      -John Taylor, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“Greinke’s gift for subtle, memorable imagery is one of my favorite things about his work, and it is a quality that is on display throughout Traveling Music. The title poem is a perfect example of Greinke at his enigmatic and effervescent best.”     -Joselle Vanderhooft, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE

“Some of the poems in this full-length book, “Traveling Music” take their last breath, leave the reader frozen in the reality of wilderness…”     -Irene Koronas,WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW

“Highly experienced and very prolific poet Eric Greinke brings readers a unique journey into the psyche of the poet. Traveling Music is a solid addition to any community library poetry collection.”     – John Taylor, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“Greinke is a spacious poet of Soul; each poem is like a dab of spirit from such a great soul. There is an easy flow, an unstrained lucidity, a surreal exuberance about his poetry. Let us revere this great man of letters in lionlike Age; he gives us so much.”     – Charles Thompson, VARIOUS ARTISTS  (UK)

“Greinke’s gift for subtle, memorable imagery is one of my favorite things about his work. He is a master of the fleeting glimpse, the hint of land through the mist, the black hole moving towards earth, the ghosts whispering…”     -Joselle Vanderhooft, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE

“Eric Greinke draws the reader into his evocative imagination, taking respite from his depictions of unforgiving reality through the beauty of nature. Traveling Music entwines themes of nature, mortality, and questions of the future of the earth with arresting and affecting imagery that pulls the reader into a multifaceted, sometimes surreal, landscape. Greinke’s arrangement of meter is splendid and his display of forms and genres brilliant; from satirical pieces to prose poems to haiku, he weaves delicate alliteration and assonance throughout his works.”     -Acachia K. Schriml in HAWAI’I PACIFIC REVIEW

“Bly’s influence on Greinke is apparent also in his didactic poems, prosaic descriptions redeemed with poetic wisdom, personification of inert objects, and coming to terms with death. A generation behind Bly, Greinke honors his style and extends his lexicon.”     -Richard Aston, OFF THE COAST

CONVERSATION PIECES – SELECTED INTERVIEWS (2012)

“Within the five interviews selected for publication, Eric Greinke gives the reader a glimpse of how the small press works and its history as it relates to Greinke’s involvement. His devotion and energy to the poetic community is astounding and deserves praise. What Greinke speaks about applies now and will always apply because he is a principled poet with a commitment to the community.”     -Irene Koronas, BOSTON AREA SMALL PRESS AND POETRY SCENE

“His survey of the small press movement clarifies it very well and, for me, was uplifting, having been a part of it. Besides the factual information that I enjoyed hearing about in this survey, there were two bells that rang in my mind and called me back to my church: conviction and integrity.”     -Kirby Congdon, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“The thirty year span makes a comparison between the Eric Greinke in his thirties and the one later in life interesting for the continuing enthusiasm and belief in the good our small presses achieve. The underground continues to churn, thankfully. Eric Greinke’s reflections show us several reasons why.”     -David Chorlton, FUTURE CYCLE PRESS

“Greinke speaks of the inner mystery and ambiguity of poetry. It’s really like a living, breathing spirit to him. Greinke has a broad view of both poetry and of life.”     -John Berbrich, BARBARIC YAWP

“Conversations Pieces offers us a rare opportunity to approach and understand a poet’s more abstract work via the poet himself. How interesting to see this sustained interest in symbols, and the intense desire to engage his readers, making them poets, and making poetry a communicative and tranformational experience. This is a fortunate gift, and helps in appreciating the dedication and artistry of Eric Greinke.”     -Timothy McLafferty, VERSE WISCONSIN

BEYOND OUR CONTROL – TWO COLLABORATIVE POEMS  (2012)

“This remarkable collaboration between Hugh Fox and Eric Greinke depicts the soul’s journey through eons to one man’s approaching end. It took incredible skill and the unison of two individuals thinking as one mind to pull off this amazing accomplishment.”     -Linda Lerner, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“The two poets wrote alternate lines until the project was completed. ‘The first thing we saw upon arrival was/ the salamander legs and bat black eyes/ that emanated from a face of/ distant stellar cold light years/ that was strangely familiar/ from ancient demon-goddess dreams/ where eternal fire flares from onyx eyes.’ There is a feeling of exhilaration that comes over the reader when reading such lines.”     -Arnold Skemer, ZYX 64

ALL THIS DARK – 24 TANKA SEQUENCES (2012)

“These tanka sequences, like the blacksmith’s blade, are inspired and the chapbook itself is a little masterpiece. The authors and Cervena Barva Press should be proud.”     -Dennis Daly, BOSTON AREA SMALL PRESS AND POETRY SCENE

“Welcome to the world of tankas – and what a wonderful world it is. I couldn’t think of a better chapbook to celebrate this ancient Japanese poetry form than this book. Needless to say, every poet should read this chapbook to revel in its greatness and learn from the authors’ craft. Writing programs should use it as a teaching tool for the modern tanka style. Everyone else should read it because it is so damn good.”     -Francis Alix, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“This collaborative work casts kaleidoscopic poetic glimmerings… The result is a stunning tanka sequence that alternates between quiet natural earthy airy meditations and the pulsating, twisting human condition of our times.”     -Devin McGuire, THE AUROREAN

FOR THE LIVING DEAD – NEW & SELECTED POEMS (2014)

“One of the most effective poets on the scene, a master word/idea worker who deserves the strongest possible lauds.”     -THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“Greinke brings us on a journey through his life beginning with a short poem, Fur Found Rhythm, written in 1969 to the beautifully sad Flood Tide, written in 2012. Greinke writes not for awards but because he is a poet, it is what he does, and we are better for it.”     -G Emil Reutter, FOX CHASE REVIEW

“There’s a strong vein of surrealism in this collection. This species of surrealism goes beyond dreams to nightmare, that nightmare of the collective consciousness that hovers over us all, that haunts our waking hours and crushes us under its weight.”     -Arnold Skemer, ZYX 65

“The poems of Eric Greinke, like Sandburg’s fog, “come on little cat feet”—observe, contemplate, meditate, accept, and move on. They gather momentum like a mighty wind, and they are not soon forgotten. Reading this deep and thoughtful book is akin to skating on a pristine sheet of ice; the top layer is still and serene, but the poet is mindful of the cracks beneath the surface. With undercurrents that flow in numerous directions, a Greinke poem is more ambitious than its brevity would imply, while maintaining an independent streak and placid cool. Its undertones are vaguely political, sexual, and religious, but the poems are not about politics, sex, or religion. Greinke gives weight to the power of memory, and there is certainly a nostalgic feel to some of the poems, but he also pays homage to the here-and-now and the future. The language is oddly violent and, simultaneously, benign. The poems are suffused with sagacity and, yet, the poet approaches all things with a fresh and earnest ponder. The poems feel somehow safe; yet they take the type of astounding risks that poets ought to take. The tone is reflective and kindly, with delightful bouts of unique wordplay (“laugh-burlap-sourcream-mantelpiece body”) and sly humor appearing in unexpected places (“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen//Nobody knows my monthly electric bill”). Through unadorned vernacular, the poet teaches us that there can be much depth in simplicity and, simply stated, Eric Greinke’s voice is a calming balm with an off-beat bent.

*

“In terms of form, Eric Greinke carves an eclectic niche; like snowflakes, no two poems are exactly alike. Not only do these selected poems have a wide wingspan of years (from 1969-2012), but they also bridge the unlikely gap between the hypnagogic and the concrete world of trees, dead dogs on highways, clocks, and loss. The poet recognizes those connections and somehow reconciles their differences. Greinke is at ease in many genres, which reside comfortably alongside each other—from poetry of the marvelous in the fine tradition of Rimbaud and Neruda, to the more traditional poems of Robert Frost. He is adept at the short, introspective prose poem which merges the surreal with the linear, no small feat. He is every bit the gentle, rugged poet of heart and humanity as Gary Snyder—and sometimes he just tells a darn good yarn, with warmth and intensity, and draws you right in.

*

“Greinke’s biggest strength is his mixed bag of styles. In “Black Milk,” the poet’s couplets contain mismatched phrases that hint at things and throw an interesting curve, while utilizing enough connective associations to make the lines sound plausible. He then easily transitions to a poem that uses plainspoken parlance: “Wild Strawberries” is, arguably, as pithy and profound as William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow,” beginning with a simple image evoked from childhood, and ending with a pointed statement about the all-too-fleeting passage of time.

*

“Greinke plants seeds liberally throughout these poems (seeds of thought, action, and interaction), and, as he predicts, they do grow. When he’s not dabbling in the surrealistic arts, he becomes the ultimate nature poet, not just as someone who admires the gifts of Mother Nature, but who propels personification to transcendental heights. His personal communes with wildlife encompass its often cruel realities, but what is even more distinctive in these particular poems is the way he links the hierarchy of the animal kingdom to human nature.

*

“In poems such as “Black Flies,” the flies are seen as an “eternal onslaught,” conjuring biblical plague; while, in “Dilemma,” the hawk is pitted against the sparrow, with the poet (Man) as the final arbiter of their fates. And, in “The Accident,” Man’s brutal impulses are brought to the fore, and are nothing less than jarring. Yet, Greinke is no messenger of doomsday; it is clear that the lovely universal landscape is where he chooses to spend most of his leisure hours. But despite his tendency towards the magical, he is, at heart, a realist.”     -Cindy Hochman, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE

“Containing a selection of poems spanning five decades, Eric Greinke’s new book, For the Living Dead is a sort of “greatest hits” collection chosen by the poet himself. Across the years, his work embraces many of the same themes, concerns and styles, a playful but serious meditation on the universe around us, both the natural and supernatural.

*

“Greinke writes in deceptively simple language, like Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson. Like Frost, too, he has a real feel for the woods and the water, only set in Michigan, not New England. There are poems about storms (“After the Ice Storm,” “Cape May Storm,” “Summer Storm”), about time and the seasons (“The Lake in Winter,” “April,” “May,” “October,” “Our House”), and haiku-like images of nature abound in such poems as “Drifts,” “Flotsam,” “Leelanau Fire,” “The Dark Roofs.” He vividly shows us what is.

“Yet for all the accurately observed natural details, there is also a flight into the illogic of dreams and what might be called the “supernatural.” Take the title poem, for instance, an eight-page poem written in 2007. Beginning in a familiar picture of solitude, a man in nature, it quickly veers into a surreal, post-apocalyptic story of zombies and robots.

“For my money, Greinke is at the top of his game when he is describing a scene, telling a story whose implications do not need to be spelled out; they throb with a kind of numinous significance lurking below the story he tells, the situation he describes. Poems like “The Accident” (1972) exemplify this, but it is true especially of some of his more recent work: “My Father’s Job,” in which the car factory is shown as a sort of prison, and his father’s existence, a life sentence; “Shooting Lessons,” in which a boy accidentally kills his brother with his father’s shotgun and is never the same; “There and Back,” a story about being assaulted at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago by a group of drunken teenagers. ‘It would never be easy to distinguish/our friends from our enemies again.’”     -Charles Rammelkamp, CHAMBER FOUR

“There is a Blakeian energy to these poems that pulses through the shorter ones in particular – in true Beat tradition, the senses are rhapsodic even at their most cataclysmic.

“Greinke believes in endings, as in “Haunted Windows”: ‘We cry for wings/Even as wings approach’, or the quietly resonant ‘We reserve our opinions/Our private parking spaces’ that end ‘Spaces.’

“Politics are a motive force. There is an eyewitness thrill to ‘There & Back’, a poem about the 1968 Democratic Convention, a disillusionment in its ending, (the young poet and friends were savagely attacked by their peers): ‘All the way home I digested the sour/truth. It would never be easy to distinguish/our friends from our enemies again.’

“The work has wide geographic reach. The least rhetorical poems enchant me.

“Greinke’s a great storyteller, an implicit element central to ‘Shooting Lessons’, and ‘The Accident’, among others. The use of dialogue in these poems makes me wish for more.”     -Aileen La Tourette, THE  JOURNAL (UK)

“For the Living Dead is a great book if you are looking for something simple but thought-provoking and emotional. The poet does an excellent job at leaving the reader on edge, and he always leaves the reader thinking at the end of each poem. Eric Greinke’s collection of poems written throughout four decades of his writing career left me wanting more.”     – Mary Kate DeJardin, THE STONEBOAT LITERARY  JOURNAL

“…Greinke’s tone is unpretentious, his usual diction far from rarefied.  (Also, his occasional penchant for too-easy rhymes undercut  me appreciation for his skill, the understated restraint that his better pieces display.)  Anyway, the going can seem easy, perhaps easier that it should go.  I blazed through the first ten pages, felling brief poems like saplings, neglecting to take notes, until I found myself at “The Forest,” able to understand the surface of the poem, able to appreciate that it could also function as a parable, but confronted by a mystical opacity that stymied rational analysis.  So I put down my axe, my arrogant presumption that “Fine.  I know what this one’s about.  And this one.  And this one.”  And I moved deeper into the trees.  And I willingly got lost.”     -John F. Buckley, ARCADIA

!--