Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review of "Love Letter to a Stranger" by Jenny Browne

"Love Letter to a Stranger" by Jenny Browne, a teacher at Trinity University, was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on October 9, 2013.  A link to the poem may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23712?utm_source=PAD%3A+Love+Letter+to+a+Stranger+by+Jenny+Browne&utm_campaign=poemaday_100913&utm_medium=email

The poet introduces two strangers to her readers:  the woman in 12C, and a man "listening across the aisle."  The woman holds a man's hand over her pacemaker, but it is not clear whether or not this man is the same one who is "listening across the aisle."  A day begins--an ordinary day filled with both ordinary and extraordinary events.

About two thirds of the way through, the poet brings herself and her readers directly into her poem by the use of the word "we."  The future is foretold using fortune cookies as a metaphor.  The advice obtained in mixed:  one says "variety," the other "caution."

The narrative then returns to the woman and the man.  The woman desires excitement and passion in her life.  The man lives an unfulfilled life haunted by memories of his past.  The poem ends on an enigmatic note as the poet asks whether or not human souls know each other instinctively.

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