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Poet's Sampler: Beth Gylys

Beth Gylys has been writing a series of villanelles that test this arduous form as a vehicle for writing about love, romance, and contemporary life in the American idiom. She has written more than twenty of these poems to date, and they are breathtakingly successful in exploring the limits of the form and applying it to the demands of her own experience. Some of the villanelles are funny; others are tender, sensual, and filled with high romance; many combine wit and humor and urban speed in new and exciting ways. In "My Savior in the Form of a Bus" and "Hard Luck" the apparatus of the villanelle is used toward a narrative end. "Do Not Dive Head-First" rises beyond the immediate task of parodying Dylan Thomas, while "Personal" must be the first and only villanelle on record to combine the qualities of a classified ad with what Norman Mailer called an "advertisement for myself." Read and enjoy.

-- David Lehman


Poems by Beth Gylys

My Savior In the Form of a Bus

Hard Luck

Do Not Dive Head-First

Preference

Personal

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