Bird Odyssey

Univ. of Pittsburgh. Feb. 2018. 88p. ISBN 9780822965251. pap. $15.95. POETRY
Extended riffs unwinding in one big propulsive surge, Hamby's poetry always takes us on a journey. So it's no surprise that her new work (after On the Street of Divine Love) jaunts across Siberia, motors through the South, and sails with Odysseus. The result is rich with cultural reference and contemporary insight, told in Hamby's typically sly, witty, colloquial language. Encountering "Six Blackbirds on the Highway to Moscow," she reflects, "I believe/ in the mystery of the universe, because as fast as one question/ is answered, another will unfold like crocuses." "Three Vultures on the Blacktop to Memphis" are "reminders to take it all in because I'm heading/ somewhere on this misbegotten stretch of road and going fast." The section "Chickadee at Troy" opens by addressing Athena, "O goddess of attitudes, yes, ma'am,/ …hear my prayer, because I'm adrift in a sea of words."
VERDICT Fun for all readers.

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