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The locales for these sonnets are those of modern America: shopping malls, a boardwalk fudge shop, bookstores, parks, intersections, beaches, housing subdivisions, highway overpasses. Wherever he finds himself, Culleton confronts the mystery of who we all are, what we have become. True to the sonnet's roots in the songs of the troubadours, the musicality of these poems resonates even as the language remains colloquial. Culleton's mastery of the form is such that, although each sonnet reads naturally and can be "gotten" in one read, you'll want to re-read them all, both for their nuances of meaning and for the richness of their language. Each is an epiphany, large or small, to be gone back to again and again for what, in Robert Frost's words, poetry offers: "A momentary stay against confusion."

A Tree and Gone

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