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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review of Salem in Seance by Susana H. Case

Witches (i.e. those who have signed the devil’s book) cannot get through the Lord’s Prayer without stumbling, or recite the Ten Commandments in order and intact. So, for a stutterer like me, saying “h-h-h-hallowed be thy name” in the greater Salem of 1692 could be the onset of some serious judicial trouble. And, indeed, all sorts of spasmodic tics, flaws and quirks convinced that pent up joyless citizenry that Satan’s diabolical plan to destroy the Puritan Church had neared its triumphal conclusion.

 Susana H. Case uses her poetic rendition of these happenings to give voice to some of the twenty executed women and men of those times and also to describe the complicated motivations of the accusers and political backdrop involved in the progression of this hysteria. She also engages her subjects with direct comments creating snippets of dialog in many of her poems. This unusual convention is not always successful but when it is it adds mightily to the poem’s power.  For more of my review of Salem in Seance go here:   http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2013/04/salem-in-seance-poems-by-susana-h-case.html

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