Jane Wong’s Poem “Awe,” from Lit-Mag Birdfeast

The poetry-focused literary magazine Birdfeast has been a pleasure of mine to read ever since fellow Minotaur’s Spotlight contributor Sean Kerney pointed it out to me.  It’s very well-designed and the poems are a great hybrid between the two clichéd and ossified camps in contemporary poetry: the “experimental” and the “traditional.”  These poems are almost always lyrical, accessible, beautiful and strange, though often in uneven degrees.

I highlight Jane Wong’s poem, because I think it is particularly beautiful.  Look at how she turns the word “gone” on its head in the final four lines of her poem, “Thaw.”


“The fish sitting too long in the sun melted

Into a sea, cell after cell

My prized imperatives, my root words: gone

Long live the day”


This might not be the most literally clear four lines of poetry you’ve ever read, but it is beautiful and, tonally, it is calm and welcoming; the reader is invited to piece together the beautiful, melting fragments here, in a way that is a real joy.  Makes you want to read the whole poem, doesn’t it?  Click on “Jane Wong” at the bottom here.