Review: Longenbach, Draft of a Letter
Publishers Weekly recently ran a positive review of James Longenbach’s most recent collection of poems Draft of a Letter. Praising one of the central themes of the work the PW reviewer writes:
This third book by noted critic and poet Longenbach is a collection of lyrics presenting conversations between an eternal soul and that soul’s embodied, temporal self. When this idiosyncratic fragmentation of “the mind thinking” works, the results are lovely, intimate and distilled, as in the title poem, when the soul informs us, “If you say the word death/ In heaven,/ Nobody understands”; or in “Second Draft,” when the embodied self explains, “…I said// Being mortal,/ I aspire to/ Mortal things.// I need you,/ Said my soul,/ If you’re telling the truth.”
Indeed, in Draft of a Letter Longenbach has fashioned an introspective and personal dialogue that simultaneously results in an unusually inviting and accessible new work.