Books: The mystery of things that remain unresolved

In "Works on Paper," Jennifer Barber remains an empathic witness to an exhausted life.

By ROBERT HIRSCHFIELD
February 21, 2017 16:31
Works On Paper byJennifer Barber

Works On Paper byJennifer Barber. (photo credit: PR)

 
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“WORKS ON PAPER,” Jennifer Barber’s third collection of poetry, contains a cycle of poems about her dying father, Louis. They are written, like almost all her poems, in spare, crisp lines that break suddenly, their scaffolding providing the perfect vehicle for her to take the measure of an expiring life.

In the poem, “Last Photograph,” Barber marks for us her father’s confounding cycle of negation as death draws near – a point in the process that does not often make its way into elegies.

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