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The Critics’ Corner

Poems are not words alone; the visual presentation affects the experience of a poem. And we like to say, “Line breaks — especially arbitrary ones — do not a poem make,” and some poems are best presented as prose. In other cases, different line lengths or even a different disposition on the page can enhance a poem.

One of the Review Editors proposes this version of Anna Ruiz’ “Glass Heart.” In your estimation as a reader, do you think it’s an improvement?

Glass Heart

by Anna Ruiz

I live in a glass-bottom boat in the
living sea,
efflorescent life abounds with me,
DNA strands, kelp and tube worms
dance in the restless ocean of my human blood,
shark and whale swim through my eyes,

starfish ride sleek bareback on dolphins
jumping in salutation to the sun,
I am dripping with joy,
I am salty with tears.

I live in a glass-topped spaceship,
endless planets and stars
pass through me, like a silent Meditation

in the colour of daylight,
pink with the medley of paper narcissus
and poet blood, another dawn comes, another
evening falls in my dulcet mind,

I am rich with the promise of a middle earth, I am blind to myself.

I live in a glass house, there are no walls here,
no fences to keep anyone in, to keep anyone out,
every room is stark white,(starkley empty
every room is bare, no-thing remains
in this shattered heart
but memories of how stones speak,

Stonehenge lives
yet my soul burns in the mirror.

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