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The Cedar Canoe

The Cedar Canoe

by Karen A. Fish

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
A poet of the lonely spaces between people separated by ``a distance you cannot shout across,'' Duemer writes letters home about the ``customs'' of the old world and the new. He's a worldly innocent on the road for no reason, seeking consolation as a means to identity. Scenes from his mini-traveloguese.g., ``Old Men Sitting in a Bar,'' ``Night Baseball in the American West,'' ``Roofing the Barn''recall Edward Hopper's paintings. Touring America, Africa, Italy, and Spain, he gives us glimpses through a train window, some conventional, others memorable emblems of a search for ``the true nature'' of place, of what it means to be ``Not Native but at Home.'' Replacing Duemer's wandering with pastoral melancholy, Fish probes the essence of various rustic scenes (a red barn, black ice, white sheds, a cedar canoe). These dusky autumn genre paintings are fused with poignance: ``The heart is a landscape larger than the palm.'' Her descriptions of impermanence (clouds ``long and thin like frayed rope,'' ``cornstalks jack-knifed/ in the early morning snowfall'') evoke the ruined geometry of Franz Kline, ``blunt/ as a brushstroke . . . the shape of things.'' Elsewhere, intense Browningesque monologues (Jeanne d'Arc, Catherine of Aragon, escaped slaves) transform individual suffering into human tragedy. Frank Allen, Allentown Coll., Center Valley, Pa.

Product Details

University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
Contemporary Poetry Ser.

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