Chicago Review

An international journal of literature, interviews, and reviews. For academic audiences.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 3-4, Summer-Fall

Absences
In the early spring of 1944 the Yangtze River wreacked its annual havoc on the inhabitants living along its shores. I had turned five, and remember crossing the river with my parents at the height of its flood. No. In 1944 I crossed the Yangtze River...
A Song in Trade
a jeremiad for John D. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall you make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me ... And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not built it of hewn stone: for if...
Cicadas
This happened in 1944, probably well into the August of summer, at least several months after the Yangtze had receded. The war must have started turning around for Chiang Kai-shek; daily, past the heavy wooden gates of our villa, endless columns of Kuomintang...
Contemporary American Poetry and the Pseudo Avant-Garde
In the hospital photograph of my new baby girl, she is squeezing both hands into tiny fists. This "startle reflex" to a series of flashes is her Futurist salute to publicity. My infant, leader of the latest avant-garde. It is hard to take the idea of...
Cooking the Geography of Distance
Bats are flapping their long lovely wings on the horizon line what does he care? Mother would know, call her & she ranges wide over thousands of topics, all except the main one. Say Mom I'm thinking of divorce, then I'll slap the kid in an orphanage,...
Eggs
When they were children, both my grandmothers had their feet bound; thereafter they had to learn to balance their feelings very carefully. The pain too will pass, Renoir said in 1903. Renoir was to become a friend of my mother Katherine who was not yet...
Leaving Thirtieth Street Station, Philadelphia
like a fairy tale, and undeserving as in a fairy tale, one lived deep within it -- lived? That an American bald eagle driven by its parents from its nesting territory rode west winds over the Atlantic, to wind up in Castleisland thin, tired, revived...
Seamus Heaney's Anxiety of Trust in Field Work
Most poetic careers advance like waves disturbed by a central event, each new pulse collapsing only after the tensions impelling it have been exhausted. Heaney's career is no exception. His image of the family's drinking water shaken by the train in...
The Spine of the Nation
This essay is a response to Paul Metcalf's I-57 (LongRiver Books, 1988), a "narrative hieroglyph" constructed from written artifacts that culminates in a journey by car from the vicinity of Cairo, Illinois to Chicago. I am sitting in the Blue Sea Lodge...