D.A.'s Reviews > When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems

When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley by Terese Svoboda
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Apr 27, 2016

it was amazing

Terese Svoboda's poems drop you right into the action, "Dove-whirr in the theater of morning" "Were we the only ones swimming nude/under the overpass?" Each glimpse of the interior life contains both observation and emotion, it's "an arrangement of atoms, a matter of excitement" that balances the experience with insight in perfect proportion. Historical, political, mythic and devotional, timely and urgent, these poems seethe with dangers so close to home they seem to teeter on that frightening edge between comic and tragic. "Dick is dead./Paedophelia has lost its head./Long live the town instead." Or "Consider the Predator droning/overhead, surgically, as it were,/striking--there's money falling." Svoboda walks that fine line between matter-of-factness and legitimate danger with such grace, she brings us swinging round the corner into moments of political awareness and social consciousness, as in brilliant rejoinder to former First Lady Barbara Bush entitled "The Convoy Never Moves." The language in these poems is playful and alive; there is no flat academic bloodlessness; it is, in fact, some of the most lively poetry being written in these times, and this collection selects from Svoboda's earlier books in a way that builds a bridge to the the newer poems; they fit together in an expansive, evolving body of brilliance.
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