Reviews in 200 Words

Requiem for the Orchard by Oliver de la Paz

In Poetry on March 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

People spend a lot of time trying to forget things: who they are, where they came from, the roots that leave little singes deep down–in the nerves. Oliver de la Paz eulogizes things past: small-town life, simple and boring; memories that remain, like anchors. Things to yearn for and teach your children about–imagination and rain, fire. He looks back with lament, of course, but he looks back knowing that childhood is magic–learning new things is tedious and harsh, but when new eyes go foggy, the world gets mundane–even the act of looking back avoids letting go. “The world was vinegar and cider. The world / was the shock of wasps, and wine passed from the mouth / of a bottle between boys. Time was a polished balloon.” What more can we want than to be as clean and forgiven as children? Childhood is like a dream: who can understand it? Who would even try? “The past is ruled by magnets. Imagine an apparition, / it will be. The lens does as it’s told.” These poems are windy and wild—a trapdoor to other worlds. Hymns of recollection—songs of real life.

Oliver’s Website


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