Alicia Ostriker’s poems [February 2011] sparkled for me with an unusual combination of humor, surprise, and wisdom. The happy friction of her three perspectives—the old woman, the tulip, and the dog—gives off a good deal of insight. Each figure has its particular music—(how about the dog’s “cellos of the river,” or the bee who makes the tulip “shiver like a rag,” or the old woman’s “pungent twitters and blogs”?) The apparent ease of her lyrics must derive from a lifetime’s craft, the elder-music of a genial spirit.
bay shore, new york