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Reason Enough

by Ida Vitale
translated by Sarah Pollack

      Host Publications has selected poems from several of Ida Vitale’s books to fashion a pleasing collection of her poems in Reason Enough. The book is laid out so that each poem is printed in Spanish on the left hand page and the English translation (by Sarah Pollack) appears on the right hand page. The slim volume of poems is divided into three parts: the word, bird beginning and nocturnal war. The reader should not be misled by the size of the book. Each poem is filled with layers of meaning that the reader discovers upon additional readings.

The very first poem reveals Vitale’s insistence on using the correct words when she writes:

Expectant words,
fabulous as such,
promises of possible meaning, artful,
I rate.
A slight error
makes them ornamental.
Their indescribable inexactitude
erases us.

The reader will be greatly aided by a careful reading of the introduction by Sarah Pollack. Pollack gives a great deal of information on Vitale’s approach to her poetry and gives some information about the poet and her husband that is also interesting and helpful in reading the poems.

The Book

Host Publications
March 2007
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The Reviewer

Willie Elliott
Reviewed 2007
© 2006