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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart  
  Carlos Reyes

ISBN 978-0-9839975-2-8     $16.95  /  $18.95 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

76 pp      
PUB DATE: Spring 2012       Poetry


On the heels of The Book of Shadows; New and Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2009) comes Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart. In his fifth full-length collection, poet and translator Carlos Reyes offers a lyrical and sometimes surreal vision of our world. The edgy tone of this collection represents a departure from his earlier work, but the omnibus quality of this book offers something for everyone. The poems “Terror in the Garden” and “Fifthlogic” set the tone of the book, defining the image of a pomegranate, first in its suggestion of violence (the Spanish for pomegranate is grenada, for grenade), then in its more benign aspect as a sister to the heart. The themes run the gamut from the bizarre to the sublime: “Blood” paints the image of a nude man hanging on the gallows with a frightful erection; “Mussolini’s Children” recalls yet another hanging; “In the Shadow of Sacre-Coeur” evokes the striking beauty of a Paris neighborhood. Political themes flavor these poems, from the anti-war sentiments in “Some Thoughts I Have at the Oregon Steel Mill,” recalling the bombing of Dresden; to environmental concerns such as water in “Down the Path from Imerovigila” and the footprint we leave on the earth in “Arizona Nocturne.” This collection balances the darker themes with lyrical and light moments: the poet sings of the tropics (“Song for a Caribbean Afternoon”), goes to Paris to visit Beckett and Baudelaire (“The Montparnasse Cemetery”), and stops in Spain to have the last dance with Antonio Gaudí (“Fame, I Want to Live Forever”).

Carlos Reyes’ poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things, and his ability to capture a mood, a world, in a handful of lines.

—Carolyn Kizer

About the Author

Carlos Reyes

Poet and translator Carlos Reyes lives in Portland, Oregon when he is not traveling. He travels a lot, and whether he journeys to Panama, Spain, Alaska or Ireland, those experiences inspire and inform his poetry. In 2007 he was honored with a Heinrich Boll Fellowship, which gave him time to write on Achill Island in Ireland. He has had fellowships to Yaddo and the Fundación Valparaíso (Mojácar, Spain). He was poet-in-resident in 2009 at the Lost Horse Ranger Station in Joshua Tree National Park, and recently writer-in-residence at the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska.