Here is my review of L.E. Goldstein's chapbook State of the Ship (2016, Dancing Girl Press & Studio)
If we are each the captain of our own ships, The State of the Ship, Goldstein’s debut chapbook, is a fitting report on the poet’s outlook and approach to the storms, flat calm, and lulling waves of daily life, past, present, and future. This little collection reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s seafaring metaphor, “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.”
In poems often with long lines, which border on prose at times, with a couple prose poems for good measure, and one rhyming sonnet, these 20 poems work from childhood reminiscences, through early adulthood, with reflections on loss and disconnections, idealism and hope, desire and knowledge.
Memories of childhood where “under blanket, a green glow emits…/the child following each word she reads” foreshadows the book itself, a fascination with stories that simultaneously mirror life at the nose tip and raise the humdrum to beautiful ideals.
The limitless potential of early adulthood is stated succinctly in “Clearing”:
“I, too, flailed helplessly in sand;
I’ve been looking toward the stars too much”
And the practical truth that those same stars are still there for us, if we look...