POETRY

Season of the Second Thought

Univ. of Wisconsin. Nov. 2017. 72p. ISBN 9780299315344. pap. $14.95. POETRY
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OrangeReviewStar"March strides in like a woman scorned," and so does Brittingham Prize winner Powell (Old & New Testaments), an assured poet who uses vivid and sometimes witty language to explore the natural world ("The yard's still head over heels in purple"), human contingency ("why/ would the God of that cold beauty/ contrive a hall of mirrors in a human mind?"), women's fate ("I hated how prettily I flushed, how my words/ froze"), and her battles with the muse ("Kiss and tell it like nobody else"). Powell is particularly attuned to nature's iridescent show but always goes beyond; reflections on the color blue end, "But bluer than the lips of Lazarus, baby,/ before Sweet Jesus himself could figure out/ what else in the world to do but weep."
VERDICT A terrific collection.

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