The World Began with Yes

Red Hen. Apr. 2019. 96p. ISBN 9781597098465. pap. $16.95. POETRY
Poet/novelist/essayist Jong's latest poetry collection is the 26th volume she's brought forth in a long and prolific career, an achievement that well may be a marvel even to her. As she writes in "The Danish Poet": "How fascinating/ you are still/ writing poetry/ though you are no longer young/ says the Danish poet /not young herself/ & still writing." Indeed, most of the poems in this volume have this same point-and-shoot quality: nothing fancy or transcendent-aiming. There's only frank reportage on these pages and a firm embrace of life. "The World" is a case in point, a poem stripped down to an essential idea by a practiced hand: "The world rushes by/ people we loved die/ & the world does not stop/ astoundingly. We pause/ but the world/ does not stop."
VERDICT Fans of this well-known author will be interested to see how well Jong gives voice to the inevitable thoughts that come with aging.
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