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Rhythms, Poems by Helen Tzagoloff
Helen Tzagoloff, in this book, observes and tries to understand from a mature woman’s perspective, the interactions among people of different backgrounds and ages, in times of peace and in times of global disruptions, be it wars, environmental disasters or attacks by biological agents. But, human beings are innovative and optimistic, and guided by similar historical events, though stumbling along the way, continue to move forward to a better future for all.
“From the first poem—a tongue-in-cheek spinoff from a line by Phillip Larkin—Helen Tzagoloff’s gentle humor and irony lurks in these poems—even in ones that mirror painful memories of a childhood in the Soviet Union, the immigrant experience in NYC, and our contemporary violence. There are stories here, embedded within the poetry—that are too moving, too loaded with implication, to be called prose. Tzagoloff’s narratives are personal and engaging, but they also tell a wider history and belongs to us all—thanks to the poetry.”—Barry Wallenstein
“What does it mean to be here, to hold an address book with names of the departed? Joy and terror, bad luck and good fortune, the delight of a chance encounter and a mortal danger lurking in the familiar, generate the current that animates this compelling collection. ‘Why do I remember/the woman in the snow,/waving to me as the train/speeds through Siberia?’ By turns bemused, impassioned, and contemplative, Helen Tzagoloff conveys wonder, fortitude, wry humor, and tragic understanding for in Rhythms she explores nothing less than the pulses of feeling and thought sustaining a well-lived human life. Like a subtle accent, ‘to many hardly evident,’ the searching quality of her work ‘can emerge unpredictably like a bear climbing/out of its den in winter to look for frozen berries.’”—Phillis Levin
“A blend of anxiety and ironic humor, Helen’s poems are beautifully made and flirt with expressive language as they take flight by craft, her mastery of diction and cadence.”—Angelo Verga
Born in Moscow, Helen Tzagoloff immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. She has worked as a research scientist, attorney and Small Claims Court arbitrator. Her writing has been published in Barrow Street, Evansville Review, New York Quaterly Review, Poetry East, The New York Times and other publications. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and is the winner of the Icarus International Library competition.
Also by Helen Tzagoloff: