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Poetry Review    

 

Poems for the Pardoned
By Cathryn Hankla
L.S.U. Press, 2002
56 pages
ISBN : 0-8071-2812-0 (cloth) $22.95
ISBN : 0-8071-2813-9 (paper) $15.95
 
 

In Poems for the Pardoned, Cathryn Hankla contemplates the pleasures and sorrows of what makes us human with awe, curiosity, and empathy.

Probing the nature of connections, she examines relationships -- friendships, sexual liasions, marriages, familial ties, and links to the natural world. Discovering similarities between what's seen and unseen, said and left unsaid, animal and human, the pardoned and the unforgiven, the poet uses the highly personal for reconciliation of the spirit and the self.

In the book's title poem, the poet's persona yearns to,
".... Just be somewhere...."
determining
I think I'll answer as my dying aunt once did
".... if anyone asks,
"What have you been doing?"
"I've just been being," she said.
I laughed,
hurrying out the door to a film.
Now I see her perfection.

Poems for the Pardoned is a book about "being." Filled with humor, pathos, and unrequited longings Hankla has explored the deepest self and offered absolution.

Cathryn Hankla is Professor of English at Hollins University and poetry editor for the Hollins Critic. Her five previous volumes of poetry include; Negative History, Texas City School Depository, and Emerald City Blues.

She's also published two works of fiction, Learning the Mother Tongue, and A Blue Moon In Poorwater.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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