Saturday, November 06, 2010

Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke's Duino Elegies by Elaine Terranova

Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke's Duino Elegies

Elaine Terranova

Cervena Barva Press

2010 $7.00


Within this chapbook of longing, grief finds release, "It's true,

life reminds us of death and time, isn't that how life comes

to you…" The poems take flight, yet, grounded in history,
Elaine Terranova

they swim on the surface of the wide blue ocean, yet, the poems

sink into our psyche:

"…I was cold

I was in the iceberg of myself.

wringing my hands,

washing my face without water.

Having forgotten each rhyming wish.

Every word is a word of praise,

even a curse, a word of praise.

Utter it, and you are a beggar…"


By the end of the reading the reader realizes it is a journey influenced

by Rilke and completely the poets own experiences and her references

become personal tributes, the mythology of carnival, angels,

female deities:


…"The soft contours of an old photo.

Fine lines etched into a hill.

Motion stops. Smile locked

before it is imagined. A trip you didn't take,

bags you let go by without claiming.

There was the window, the line of light

that came between so we were separate.

What dawn pulled away, leaving us

to the normal operations of the world…"

Clearly this is the writing of an accomplished poets, with much to impart.

Cervena Barva Press gives us the most current writers, internationally as

well as our local voices. This is one of the chapbooks that implores us

to invest in our small presses.


Irene Koronas

Poetry Editor:

Wilderness House Literary Review


Ibbetson Street Press

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