We were delighted to read Rachel Barenblat's appreciative review of Ren Powell's "Mercy Island" today, at her blog The Velveteen Rabbi.
Rachel speaks of her appreciation of Ren's poems about growing up, "childhood, in these poems, isn't necessarily safe" and also mentions her own anguish at reading "Girl-talk with the Poet from Ramallah" which speaks of horrors endured by a Palestinian girl.
But she also writes that the book contains great beauty. At the end of her review, Rachel quotes the first stanza of "View From an Island," the final poem in the book,
I am a Russian Doll
land within land
and says: "I love the opening couplet with its suggestion that each of us contains multitudes within ourselves. Lichen, heather, craggy beauty, mackerel slapping on the dock: despite all of our human sorrow, these beauties remain... This is a gorgeous collection of poems."
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