Elinor Nauen: An Appreciation
has written a remarkable book, So Late Into the Night, from Rain Mountain Press (2011). The book is a long poem in 8-line rhyming stanzas, the ottava rima of Byron's Don Juan, with some medieval variations and half-hidden games.
Perhaps you'd like to hear more of Byron -
My master, my love, my poet, my guy -
And the traits that draw me to him: iron-
Y, for one, as modern as any high-
Tech gadget, and as assured. The siren
Allure of sympathy, thrills and sex. Why
He's not everyone's fave poet I don't
Get. He isn't for anyone who won't Admit humor and human narrative
To the pantheon of poetic purpose.
Ms. Nauen too has the range and fluid speed of Byron's verse, the humor and... the plain-enough diction,
Smart allusions and dead-on depiction
In his characters and types.
The poem is autobiography, a life in full with frank insights. It's the voice of a poet, a woman, a wife, a devoted friend, a child of the prairies and an East Village artist. She muses deeply and turns flippant. She has fun, and that's one of the joys of the poem. The form is in masterful hands and knows it and shows it. She plays with words, for laughs and for the Word. At times the tone is instructive; she means to share what she's learned, as well as what she's loved.