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Lit Windowpane
Date of Review: 
Oct.23.2009
Published Work: 
Reviewer: 
Justin Evans
Source: 
Alsop Review Books

Lit Windowpane
Suzanne Frischkorn
50 pp., Main Street Rag
ISBN 13: 978-1-59948-134-0
$14

reviewed by Justin Evans

I recently received my copy of Suzanne Frischkorn's Lit Windowpane, and I have been enjoying it while sitting in my school's gym for parent-teacher conferences. In fact, that's where I am right now, waiting for the people who are not going to show up to discuss their little angels.

Upon first entering into this beautiful book (both in texture and appearance) I was taken by the strong sense of music explicitly on display in every poem of the book. A lot of poets, and I count myself among them when I say this, seem to hide much of the music in their poetry, which is a shame, especially when Frischkorn makes it look so effortless. This does not mean that all poetry should suddenly burst into song, but where Frischkorn makes me do a double take, is how she is able to make the poem accessible and still layer it with the best elements of song.

Frischkorn also gives the readers a wide convergence of waters to consider. We read about mermaids, drownings, rivers, sounds, lakes of freshwater, and even watermarks. I cannot hide my affinity for poems of nature and and whose sensibilities are connected to the natural world. By way of water and what feels like late summer and autumnal progression, Frischkorn lays down the groundwork for a new form of landscape meditation, full of narration and a felt sense of topography. In her poem "Idle," one is immediately reminded of the classic idyll form:

Idle

Rain beads the window and to get anywhere is to follow

red tail lights in front of you--

hydroplaning when you run late, but the car's

clock runs 10 minutes fast. No moon, no stars,

water pounding between the swipe of blades.

All day the tree's leaves dove for the pavement.

However, it isn't merely the pairing of a car in idle and the meditative quality of an idyll which makes this poem succeed. It is the treatment of the subject matter and the keen balance between the two worlds, and where we are left after we finish reading the poem.

The book begins with the calm of late summer and moves quickly towards the surprise of storm, and with it, we see the world change through the vista of what seems to be different windows, both literal and figurative. What I expected to find in this book I cannot exactly say or even clearly remember. To be honest, I cannot fully explain what I have found. I am happy to report to you that I have found poems which are rooted in what I love most but completely change my vantage point for assessing the value of such poems. Each poem, and most have a spareness to be admired, makes me want to do so much more with my attempts in the theme of writing about the natural world. I am now much more aware of the possibilities.