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84 WesternAmerican Literature least heard, and it is to be hoped that the editors at Entrada will continue to look for similarly fresh voices, notjust new ones. GEORGE SEBASTIAN-COLEMAN University ofNotreDame The Trouble With Dreams. By Vess Quinlan. (Ketchum, Idaho: Wind Vein Press, 1990. Unpaginated, $6.00.) Place ofDisappearance. By William Hoagland. (Saratoga, Wyoming: The Willow Bee, 1990. 33 pages, $3.50.) What makes a poem? What is poetry? Even poets have difficulty defining the essence, the mysterious link between language and intuition that is the hallmark ofgood poetry. The absenceof this mystery, however, is easy to spot and is what sets would-be poets apart from true artists. This absence is precisely the problem with many of Vess Quinlan’s poems, some of which would have made good essays or slice-of-life vignettes, but which are lacking that leap into the subconscious, that clarification of one mystery by the introduction of another. Quinlan knows his territory: the cattle industry, the small towns, the history. He loves it all. And he can write, but it isn’tenough to writewords in stanzas and call the result “poetry.” Certainly some of the poems succeed, but whether by accident or design is unclear, and only when Quinlan lets the poem speak without interjecting himself or clarifying by stating an opinion. On the other hand William Hoagland, in Place ofDisappearance, sees the world with the awareness of a mystic and writes lyrically about both the beauty and violence in nature. He, too, knows his country—Montana and Wyoming— but the difference is that he does not makea poem so much as give it permission to happen. There is, throughout this small book, a touch of Oriental sparsity, a paring down of language, so that the final image—the world shown to us in a new and different perspective—vibrates in the mind long after the book is finished. These poems are haunting. We need more poets like Hoagland. JANE CANDIA COLEMAN Rodeo, New Mexico Silverstar. By George Silverstar. (Port Townsend, Washington: Sagittarius Press, 1992, 90 pages, $5.00.) The poetry of George Silverstar possesses sound and imagery so naturally authentic it nearly camouflages the wresding of the fragile man beneath, who ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 84
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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