Opening to the very first page of Rosanna Warren’s first collection of poems, Each Leaf Shines Separate, we realize straightaway that we are in the presence of an important new talent.

Petals fell white and remorseless as
snow layering sleep on sleep as sky
hands unrolled one endless bolt of dimity, and down
all floated, veiling the garden where
the real gardenia once, from its cumbrous vase,
exploded in a sand-grit gust to shed
benediction on the sleeping cat:
made the old woman laugh as it unloosed
dangerous sweetness on the air.

This inaugural scene, rich with despair, written in an impulsive, almost ungainly, style, and of rather difficult access, captures our intellectual and emotional attention—and keeps it. For we feel in it an irresistible current of...


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