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Review of Used Lanterns
Just when I thought he couldn’t possibly evolve any more as a poet, Jacob Erin-Cilberto, author of An Abstract Waltz, has surpassed himself by leaps and bounds. His poetry transports the reader away from the mundane, into the realm of the magical and wondrous. He is the consummate poet, using his role as such to enable us to “see into” our own lives, as he suggests in the title piece of this magnificent collection.
One cannot help but be struck by the author’s versatility as a writer, as evidenced by his wonderfully crafted haiku pieces, his playful and whimsical pieces like “Handmedowns” and “A 2010 Love Poem”, and the intensely poignant and profound “23 Fitzroy Road” and “Detroit 1968, And”. These pieces are more than just social commentaries; they are mirrors into our very essence as human beings. The “Demolition” poems make us acutely aware of our fragility and the flaws that can lead to our demise. And in “Mercury Falling”, we see the highly personal nature of his poetry, glimpsing back into his childhood with vivid images which are relatable and tangible.
While he pays homage to the greats such as Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton, in this reader’s opinion he is no less gifted than they were.