Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review
No. 40, Winter 2014
Poetry Review cover Winter 2014

Issue 40 of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review was published in December of 2014.  It is an issue that circles arount an idea of loss.  This is not a theme issue, but an issue complied with a center in mind.  The poems speak to each other, and to the reader, about different kinds of losses—of people close to us, of innocence, of words' meanings, of the physical world around us and of things we didn't really know we even had. The issue features work by Merrill Gilfillan, Wendy Videlock, Maurice Manning, Katrina Vandenberg and others, some familiar in the pages of the Review, and others new.  This year's 4x4 also meditates on the losses the poems evokes - in stark terms both painful and hopeful. Much thanks to Michael Zigmond for the use of his beautiful work for this year's cover as well - what says more about loss than cut flowers?


Nancy Naomi Carlson
Liu Changqing
Robert Cording
Aaron Crippen
Allison Davis
Julie Funderburk
Merrill Gilfillan
Michael Homolka
Devin Johnston
John Kinsella
Shara Lessley
Marta López-Luaces
Maurice Manning
Robert Morgan
Jim Peterson
G.J. Racz
William L. Ramzey

Liz Robbins
David Roderick
Mira Rosenthal
Li Shangyin
Derek Sheffield
Katrina Vandenberg
Wendy Videlock
Abdourahman Waberi
Ronald Wallace
Li Yi


by Maurice Manning

After being empty and seeming
to be disappeared in time, how soon,
when periodic streams fill up,
they follow down the wooded hill
and obey the originating form
of the land. It is like watching a dream
come back, and by remembering
the dream, the dream is seen to increase-
it makes more symbols now and more
details have risen up and the cause
for all of it remains, as it must
in any lulling dream, unknown;
I could say the dream has come alive
with a clarity that makes me think
it never was a dream at all.
Once the streams are rushing down
with the sound of a slurry voice and the slap
of water slopping from rock to rock
and over muted moss and vines,
I easily believe within
this hill could be one imagination
and the little streams come forth at will-
or because a spirit in the mind
imagines with a kind of hope
all things could be continuous
and here is momentary proof,
though proof that will appear to recede.
Because the content is what changes,
and overnight the streams will go,
becoming glosses of what they were
today, and then a wrinkle, a line
of worry or some decision plotted
in the ground and solemnly thought down
the hill to the slick hump of the bank
before the annihilating plunge,
and soon there will be none at all.
But the form will stay and deeper still
in time, though lost with every rain.
Always this is a wonder to me,
the sense of something lonely making
its one companion and counterpart-
what God imagined could be done
with all of this is everything.

Constellation: "Wild Hog and Tangle Hair"

by Merrill Gilfillan

A thousand miles of snow,
Elkhorn River to the Yellowstone,
blanket so bright the stars go dim.
But the men, two men low skyline,
names wild as January trees,
January seas, weighing
and aweigh.

The Yolk

by Devin Johnston

Embryo clicks to embryo
and twitters like a pipistrelle.
One ear, curled against the breast,
amplifies a rapid tempo.
The other, cupped against the shell,
detects a rustle near the nest.

One eye, dark as anthracite,
will someday seek a hiding place.
The other, dimly sensing light,
will watch for predators on high.
The brain—the brain separates
into hemispheres of earth and sky.