In lines electrified with lyricism and wit, Donald Finkel carves a clearing out of the backyard brush and the intellectual brambles of existence.
Whether he writes a short lyric or a long experimental series, Finkel relies on concrete images—a breeze through grass, a cigarette in a piano player’s hand—to ground his central questions about the clash of order and chaos in our everyday lives.
He delights in naming weeds and towering trees, cars and streets. Yet, in each poem, there is a constant tension between the actual wind and the words we must use to convey the wind’s force.
Working fluently in formal lines and in free verse, he can write with equal authority of butchers or great painters, aged bookkeepers or schizophrenics, Greek gods or house cats. In this new collection, Finkel has given us the priceless keepsakes, the best gifts from the clearing his words have won.