Tuesday, July 4, 2017



Small Ceremonies by Cynthia Snow
(Slate Roof, Northfield, MA, 2016)

First, it must be said that the production value of this chap is so fine: elegant but warm due to the thickness of the paper and the earthy shade of burgundy for the cover. This is the first time I’m actually presenting the Colophon in a book review:

The chap’s lovely production values led me to review the chap and I’m pleased to share that Cynthia Snow’s poems merit the wonderful presentation by Slate Roof. Design and presswork is by Ed Rayher.

As befits its title Small Ceremonies, the poems presents moments that may be ordinary, even mundane, but are writ large through poetry to be significant. I actually thought of holiness while reading these poems—that poetry blessed the referenced acts. “Laundry” is a fine example:

But maybe the matter is not that stuff is ordinary or mundane until significance is applied (and enlarged if the application is (through) poetry). Perhaps it’s that all is significant and one simply must be able to see/capture such significances. For example,

What’s effective about the above poem is its deliberate lack of connecting details—the effect is more powerful by enlisting the reader’s imagination.

I also appreciate how Snow freshens up the concept of ceremony—as one who lives in the country and has often cleared up windowsills after nights end—I empathized with this:

These poems benefit from the poet’s lucid vision, and will provide much pleasure to their readers. 


Eileen Tabios is the editor of Galatea ResurrectsHer 2017 poetry releases include two books, two booklets and six poetry chaps. The latter includes a new fundraising chap, MARAWI, co-authored with Albert Alejo. Forthcoming later this fall is a new poetry collection, MANHATTAN: An Archaeology (Paloma Press). She does not let her books be reviewed by Galatea Resurrects because she's its editor, but she is pleased to point you elsewhere for a recent review of her work: M. Earl Smith reviews Excavating the Filipino In Me for The FilAm Magazine!  More info about her work at http://eileenrtabios.com

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