Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Great Regulars: "Specimens at Shackamaxon" puts almost all

of it together: the "vacant lots that gaped through blocks/of Kensington like stab wounds," the houses "with their punch-drunk faces-toothless, raw/with shattered window panes," "the fumes from factories,/the yeast and hops of Ortlieb's brewery," "electric power plants and sugarhouses/belching their smoke across the Delaware."

But in the park, "the very earth where Quakers, led by Penn,/devised a treaty with the Lenapes, . . . each treetop blazed a headdress through the air,/old trunks as worn as leather moccasins . . . as if our own parade/of spirit chiefs were summoned from the depths."

[David] Livewell, who grew up in Kensington, has an appreciative eye for the characters a city neighborhood can spawn, and he can limn them in a clutch of lines.

from Frank Wilson: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Where quiet praise and deep grief meet


No comments :