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Posted January 22, 2009
What Barter says in the poem 'On a Beethoven Cello Sonata' could also be said about his own poems: 'The strain/that labors cadence after cadence toward/resolution, wresting its course away/from the pestering piano, arrives/only after everything is so changed/that where it meant to go is no longer/possible....' Similarly, you never know where Barter's poems are going to go. But this doesn't mean they are anarchic, or are simply pleasing or inspired gatherings of images. Like music, the poems have no reason, but rather play out intimations and ideas inhering in their animating moods, memories, and thoughts. Though Barter uses a Beethoven cello sonata in tendering something about music which also wittingly or by intuition or chance refers to his own poetry, Barter's poetry is more like Bach's music than Beethoven's. The emotional restraint and preciseness of Barter's poems makes them more like Bach's music.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.