Naomi's Reviews > Dancing in Odessa

Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky
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's review
Dec 26, 2011

really liked it

Reading this collection of poems is like reading a novella in verse. Like Darwish, he is a poet of exile, and like Darwish his imagery is rich with the metaphor of the divine: the golden light of lemons; ghosts dancing in the fog of memory; the gnarled taproot probing into the lost land. His verse is drunk with the spirits of the Russian masters who came before them, and he sings their praises in prose poems of magical realism. He is a poet of conscience. Deaf since the age of four, he hears the clink of crystal in the silence of stanzas, the currents of the river that ripple between the vowels.

". . . poems in Dancing In Odessa seem like a literary counterpart to Chagall in which laws of gravity have been suspended and colors reassigned," says The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Yes. This seems perfect and right.
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