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spacer.gif
spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: STEVEN SCHROEDER
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 12:46 PM
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Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
Steven SchroederRevolutionary Patience
poems by Steven Schroeder
A Virtual Artists Collective Publication
Reviewed by C. J. Laity


Steven Schroeder's book packs a punch for 26 pages of brief poetry. Using the theme of Winter, Schroeder creates powerful metaphors by personifying nature.

High clouds circle
the sun to warm their
hands . . .


(from "Close")

From sparrows cultivating a revolution against the pigeons in the title piece, to flowers having a tea party in "Garden Apartment", to the sharp descriptions of a society composed of vegetation in "Community Garden":

. . .Even
the maple trees lay low in this box and make
a bonsai grove beside petunias. But four
ostentatious locals homesteading among maples
tower over the whole at one end, reaching
for the only remaining branch of a tree


Schroeder crams big images into his select words.

It's not the edge of the wind
but the machination of squirrels
that brings Autumn to my attention.


(from "Autumn Festival, Chicago")

The language in this book is at all times eloquent:

So the world burns from autumn red
to rich brown earth before leaves turn
to it and every lost being is left
to wander in the unfathomable blue of winter.


(from "Lost")

Within this eloquence is delivered sharp, universal truths:

uncertain as steps
on pavement that staggers
from water to ice
while it waits for sky
to make up its mind.


(from "Indecision")

And though the poems are short, they are each complete and require no more said:

Diminuendo

Walking south in gentle snow,
I pass two young girls just stepping out.
They do not walk as fast as I, so
Their syncopated conversation
Of crystalline edges rising through snowfall
Recedes behind me until it finally dissolves,
A diminuendo of interrogatives
Against the rhythm of snow's whispered assertion.


Yet some of them are re-said, as if looking at the subject matter from two different vantage points, as in the similarity to the poems "Chain Reaction" and "Tessellated" in the first daisies "burn but do not explode" and in the second daisies hold "a golden parasol".

These are poems to make you think. Their soothing nature calms the soul.

--C. J. Laity

Steven Schroeder's "Revolutionary Patience" can be purchased for $7.69 at LuLu.com

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Note: Here is a review of Steven Schroeder's book "Revolutinary Patience".

 
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