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 Poetry Review    

 

 

Not Till We Are Lost
by William Wenthe
L.S.U. Press, 2003
Hardcover $22.95 (56 pages)
ISBN: 0-8071-2903-8
 
 

Taking both title and epigram from Thoreau's Walden, "Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations," Wenthe uses loss as a metaphor in many of the poems included in his second collection.

The poet's tragedies are personal and universal -- the death of his parents, the ending of a marriage, the dislocation that comes with having to make significant changes at midlife. Through grief, the poet reaches outward to discover his place in the world; through loss, the poet reaches inward to discover his connection with the divine.

Using free verse, sonnets, and traditional forms, the poet begins to reconsider his art, his conscience, and the possibility that language often does more to separate people than to bring them together.

William Wenthe, who lives in Lubbock and teaches at Texas Tech University, is the poetry editor for the Iron Horse Literary Review. Born and reared in New Jersey, he's the author of Birds of Hoboken. His work has appeared in the Georgia Review, Southern Review, and Poetry. He's also a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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