The Unbearable Beauty of the Open, Hurting Heart

Letter from Brooklyn

Poems by Jacob Scheier

Publisher: ECW Press

Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship—but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
– Sylvia Plath

I don’t normally like postmodern confessional free verse, but this tome caught my attention because of the sheer density of its “aha” moments. You know how that feels; it’s when you hear something new and you say to yourself, “I never thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, it really is true.”

Another remarkable aspect of this work is the story arc behind the poet’s voice. Jacob Scheier was born in Canada only because his parents, on returning from an activist mission in Palestine, were not allowed to re-enter the United States. His personal history is rooted in New York, Judaism, his family’s radical communism, Eastern Europe, and the tragedy of his mother’s early death. (Read the rest here.)

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