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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review of Pearl by Lawrence Kessenich

Masked by its modest size and critically unconsidered, at least until now, because of the small number of available copies, Pearl, Lawrence Kessenich’s new chapbook, spellbinds the reader both as a commentary on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and, in its own right, as a compilation of compelling and elegant poetry.

 Besides the exquisite simplicity of the book’s design, Pearl astounds with a life-affirming passion rarely exhibited in contemporary American verse. Kessenich constructs his poems solidly, but somehow the spirit of their subject/ narrator hovers over his whole collection, seemingly moving from piece to piece. The poet includes five interludes of prosaic Hawthorne-speak, which knit the poems together and elucidate the strange personal connection between Hawthorne and the most impish of his fictional characters. For more of my review of Pearl go here:  http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesomervilletimes.com%2Farchives%2F82104&h=ATMbmzGR1D0C3Fl8WOIfCOJFGmlvKuVuQLKoG3e35hfaKr-do64gA_WcPkXbc05cJZ8emoBNsVZ4rlY5XmjtyPFVCA3OxeeMK6XFpq_npHev3zDL3CSwq7koPXpRY_w

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