Poems in Corona


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Contemporary poetry does not have to be hurried or subpar. This chapbook combines excellent poetry with immediacy.

    Although Wordsworth’s definition of poetry as “emotion reflected in tranquility” remains more or less valid more two centuries after he said it, there are some events that demand our almost immediate attention. COVID-19 and all else associated with it certainly belong to that category.

    Most of the poetry I encounter that deals with current events has a strong tone of stridency that corrodes the actual poetry itself. When someone talks about poetic merit, the response usually is bitter and confrontational, with insinuations that ant criticism automatically includes opposition to whatever the cause is.

   Thankfully, Louisiana-based poet Jay Green avoids that. The most impressive thing to me in this chapbook is the sheer artistry of his words. He packs a lot of meaning into what he writes. Poems in Corona is his second book of poetry. (A chapbook, for those who are unfamiliar with the terms, refers to a shorter collection of verse, usually 35 pages or so, and often centered around a common theme.)

    There are varied verse forms here, as well as varied lengths. This is a chapbook that can be read in one sitting. By no means is that a criticism; rather it flows together so well that reader will want to continue until the end.

    Now for a few examples from the text itself:

    Covid Lovers is a rondeau that slightly tweaks the conventional form.

   Quarantine trapped us, pushed us breast to breast. Conversations walk the tightrope, don’t fret.    
   Or fall into arguments and lie.


  Some shorter poems deal with the onset of the pandemic, how high school seniors are impacted, along with cities and the entire nation.

    We Out Here talks about people resisting the virus and the lockdowns/ stay in laces that it caused:

    Hang a rifle off your chest and go about your business.
     Is it time to come out yet? I heard this virus ain’t even that serious.
      Scream freedom loud until the government delivers.
      They lyin' and inflating numbers. Wait till I post it on

    The concluding poem, Cities Sing, expresses hope that despite all of the unrest and unease caused by the virus and the concurrent demonstrations about Black Lives Matter. Americans can unite.

    But I want the kids to know that there
    were also moments of solidarity.
   Know that there were officers that took
  the time to sing the rich words
  “We stand with you.”   

Reviewed by

I am a published poet with four books out there of my own, and two in collaboration with artist Carol Worthington-Levy. Additionally I have drafts of a novel and one short story in the process of being sent out.


About the author

Born and raised in Monroe, LA. I have been writing since the age of twelve. Whether it's trying to capture some of the limitless possibilities that come with fantasy, or observing the natural world through poetry, I find passion in both these genres and hope to create works that will last lifetimes. view profile

Published on June 15, 2020

3000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by