Wind, Trees

Copper Canyon. Oct. 2022. 96p. ISBN 9781556596483. pap. $17. POETRY
Writing in free verse, often without punctuation, and employing enjambment, critic/poet Freeman (Maps; The Park) grapples with isolation in poems that evoke the atmosphere of an Edward Hopper painting. (Titles like “Loneliness” or “Night Train,” suggest the moodiness of Hopper’s Sunday Morning and Night Hawks, respectively.) The poet seems cut off from neighbors, friends, even himself, as in “Without”: “Maybe a body’s/ largely past tense. Like a house empty.” Several poems, especially “Take It,” imply that these feelings were brought on by the pandemic—“For months we learned the new ways/ we were to die or not to die”—while the narrator in “Quarantine” looks across the way at the couple playing cards on the other side of a window, again evoking Hopper’s sense of distance and solitude. Freeman’s frequent use of colors, especially whites, blues, and greens (as in “bone-white gull,” “a smear/ of cobalt rings the tree line,” and “the green, four o’clock/ dark”) increase the Hopper-esque ambiance and add a visual sensibility that one can almost see in the best of these poems.
VERDICT A fine collection recommended for any library.
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