A Review: Rhina P. Espaillat

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When you ask someone to describe what a poem contains, they will usually mention a rhyme scheme with a set verse. A few may even suggest that a poem hold some sort of deeper meaning or perception of the world around them. However, after reading a selection of Rhina P. Espaillat's work, you realize that poems can take on a world of their own. With her book, Where Horizons Go, we can see her poetry doing just that and then some. As we take a peek into her life of poetry and wisdom, we will see poems that reflect a deeper meaning and a few that may leave the reader quite puzzled. Sometimes, only the author knows the true message behind his or her own work and at other times, the message is crystal clear. Let us now take a look at a few of Espaillat's poems and the way she presents the genre of poetry.

At first glance, you will notice a set of poems compiled together like any other poetry novel. However, a second look will show you a unique and different type of poem – just by reading its title. Some of these most interesting and intriguing titles would include but are not limited to: "Map Lesson", "For Evan, Who Says I Am Too Tidy", "Done with Mirrors", "Brown", and "Class Notes". They are distinct and yet, to the point, whereas other poets may use "flowery" or more meaningful titles to convey certain images. This isn't to say that Espaillat's poems do not have meaning, but that they are of a different category of poems – one where fewer and more distinct phrases may insinuate something deeper.

Take for example the poem, from Where Horizons Go, entitled: "Children Blowing Bubbles". The title itself is self-explanatory, with no deeper probing necessary, into the meaning of the phrase at hand. When reading the poem however, each word seems to take you back to the days of your own childhood. To days gone by, where no words can express the happiness you feel and the pure joy from a silly activity like blowing bubbles. Her one line clearly paints a picture of the...
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