Blue Himalayan Poppies

Disclosure: Jay Ruzesky was my professor for a poetry workshop in the Spring of 2022.

As always, I am hesitant to offer critical review of poetry. But I read this book and it was very beautifully written. It spoke to me in ways that most of the work published in POETRY doesn’t, and I’m starting to formulate this theory that who the poems come from is as important as what they’re trying to convey. Just as I no longer have the capacity to relate to people who were born twenty-plus years before me, I feel a comfortable relatability towards Ruzesky’s work.

This is not to say that I think we shouldn’t seek out and listen to a diversity of voices, but rather we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ones that have us nodding our heads in agreement. If it’s a question of consonance over dissonance, then there was a beautiful harmony in these poems for me, whoever it is that I am.


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