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Contemporary poets publish slim volumes. Ramona Harvey's book is no different in this regard. Contemporary poets, even when they write beautifully crafted poems that sound beautiful, too, frequently speak in riddles. Or so it seems to most people who, for that reason alone, hardly read poetry these days. It seems that poets are usually the only readers of the works of other poets. Will a book of poems ever be so popular again that it will become a run-away bestseller? Probably not. But there is something special about Ramona Harvey's Unclipped Wings.
"Rhyme and reason" is a well-known phrase. But in this case, I would add rhythm to it. Because Ramona Harvey's poems not only rhyme and reason, they also have rhythm that goes with the many surprising insights that keep coming at us from poem to poem. At times it's just a little switch on some well-known idea, as when she suddenly exclaims, "When looking at the forest / Do not change the trees." Such simple words, yet they carry a deeply philosophical meaning. And call for accuracy in our judgments. Something this world is in great need of these days. Along these same lines, I was impressed when I encountered her plea in another poem: "Why must you destroy parts of me you do not understand?" Why, indeed, do we do such things to each other?
In addition to such reasonable remarks, we also frequently find both rhyme and rhythm as well. Here, for example: "There are people in this world / Who do nothing more than run / Who are afraid of who they are / And will never catch the sun." Such rhyme and reason combined with rhythm makes me want to emphasize the following observation Ramona Harvey makes in another poem, in a poem that could actually emerge as part of the definition of poetry.Read more ›
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