It is appropriate to begin a new year with a New Year’s poem. Jane Yolen treats us to this holiday bonus feature, “Everything Old Becomes New.” The selection of the next six poems is an eclectic mix. “Metal Lark” by Chloe N. Clark is a symbolic and surreal poem with deft use of language. “Daughters of Melisseus” by Valya Dudycz Lupescu is a well crafted Pantoum, which accentuates the dark mythic narrative. The title, “Principles of Entropy” by Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, immediately caught my eye, perhaps because I am a physicist, but it also caught my ear. This is an excellent example of a science poem that is also literary and also shows the importance of supporting structure. Noel Sloboda, in a way, continues concepts of thermodynamics that everything wears down with “Our Lady of Wrinkles.” Notice the powerful double-meaning ending. Chloe N. Clark brings another poignant piece, “Space like Hands,” and invokes a legendary creature with its own sense of irony. Finally, Austin Wallace writes “At Emily Dickinson’s House, 2003” in the spirit of Emily Dickinson. Though not a typical speculative poem where science fiction or fantasy is embraced, it is still speculative in the broadest sense of the word. Besides the fact that many of us admire Emily Dickinson, we have just passed her birthday (Dec 10). So as a tribute to her, please enjoy this poem, too.
John C. Mannone