Reflecting on Poetry

June, 2004

Snowshoes Across the Clouds, Forty Mirror Haibun (Stride Publications, 2004) is a new book of collaborative poetry by Robert Garlitz, PSU professor of English, and British poet Rupert Loydell. Garlitz and Loydell wrote the poems by e-mail over several months.

Haibun is a Japanese form interspersing verse and prose in a variety of possible combinations. In her review for New Hope International Review Online, Patricia Prime explains, “In this collection the pattern is prose-verse-verse-prose: the first poet providing a prose piece followed by a line of verse and the second poet a line of verse followed by prose: the poets who wrote the pieces are not distinguished.”

Prime goes on to say, “In these 40 poems the poets explore the nature and function of their lives, whether directly or obliquely, finding mystery, paradox, and fullness in an art made of common everyday speech. … Every poem opens the reader’s eyes and ears, offers new angles of perception, and a fresh encounter with consciousness and conscience. And despite the fact that the poems sometimes demand a state of revolutionary thinking, the poems are surprisingly free of self-consciousness or self-regard.”

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