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The Lyrics – Fanny Howe

The Lyrics is Fanny Howe’s 14th book of poetry.  She’s also a novelist, which comes across in her poetry; some of her poems appear to almost be incredibly condensed short stories.  The Lyrics is both culturally and politically conscious, without being transparent, or motivated by agenda.  The poems in general just seem to be seeking significance- in landscape, history, nature, the everyday…

As the title suggests, the book is a collection of sequence poems.  Some are religious in that they derive meaning from religious concepts or imagery and some are in communion with religion as history.

That gas lamp provides a silhouette.

History, there are no surprises coming from you.

From bodies, less than none.

She’s a moving poet with a genuine enthusiasm for the possibilities poetry offers to us.  Her subject matter varies, which refreshingly presents some of the poetic concerns mentioned above.

If you love lyric poetry, or experimented with sequential poetry, it would be safe to say that you will greatly appreciate Fanny Howe’s “The Lyrics.”