by Jen Levitt
Four Way Books, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-954245-51-8 | Paper: 978-1-954245-50-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3612.E9345S6 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6


Anticipating and then grieving the death of her father, Jen Levitt’s So Long fleshes out a full elegiac register, sitting with the mourning of farewell while holding onto gratitude, remembrance, and a permeating love. “Soon,” she says, “we’ll have to find another way to meet, as moonlight / makes the river glow.” In the contrails of bittersweet loss, Levitt’s speaker observes all that surrounds her, and the self, too, as a phenomenon in loneliness. In the suburbs, she notes high- school athletes circling “in their sweat-resistant fabrics,” “so natural in their tank tops, those dutiful kids trying to beat time”; upstate, she finds herself in temple where Broadway music has replaced prayer and discovers “no promises, / but, like hearing a rustle in deep woods & turning to locate its source, the chance for something rare.” It is this humanistic faith that inverts the title’s idiomatic goodbye into a statement of permanence, the truth of our enduring, improbable lives: look at this, she seems to command herself, “& look at how lucky I’ve been, for so long.”

See other books on: Death, Grief, Loss | Levitt, Jen | LGBTQ+ | Subjects & Themes | Women Authors
See other titles from Four Way Books