Assistant Poetry Editor's Note

Sharon Kourous


The poems here speak for themselves. It is a privilege to bring them to you, and I’m grateful to CE for the opportunity to read and assist in selection of poetry for the "Power Lyrics" issue. Our criteria were strict, and I was working against the verbal assault of election year rhetoric in a "swing state." It was a relief to turn to the poets and to find, among many fine submissions, these few.

The greatest poetry in our English tradition employs "compressed power utilizing all the accumulated weapons of formalism and symbolism, employing Chinese lucidity and Dantean accessibility" (to quote CE) – and this issue illuminates that tradition.