Suzanne Bottelli, "The Feltville Formation" (Finishing Line Press, 2015)


When I first read Suzanne Bottelli's The Feltville Formation (Finishing Line Press, 2015), I was struck by the quietude and steadiness of the poems. Often in tercets, the stanzas stand like columns seeking to rebuild what was once strong. What do lovers of history do but seek to shore up foundations of the past so that the present may tread upon them? Bottelli not only researched this 19th-Century utopian town-left-derelict, it is also part of the landscape from her New Jersey childhood. The poems straddle the block of time from Feltville, to ruin, to the nostalgia of looking back 30 years and 3,000 miles. -- for the moments marking the standing still of time, even if time does not stand still, or it does, and we move through it which is the incomprehensible fact of it, or at least one small pebble of fact in the face of it. The larger question these poems wonder after is, what do we do with what has been left behind?

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