Olena Kalytiak Davis’ first book,And Her Soul out of Nothing, introduced a startling new poetic voice; her second,shattered sonnets love cards and other off and back handed importunities,was even more exciting in the way it, well, shattered sonnets, without any nods to tradition or respect. Shakespeare got an invigorating kick up the backside, as did the sonnet form generally, and the (American) English language.
late summer odeincludes a section of sonnets, too, and for me is the best part of the book. There’s something about the restraint and shaping undertaken that contains Davis’ wilder inclinations and tendency to ramble, repeat and drift. I’d forgotten how disappointed I’d been by her last book,The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems, and have struggled to find a way in to this one, to find any sense of structure in many of the poems.
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