Eleanor Wilner
"Entering the Labyrinth," an essay on the persona poem.

Eleanor Wilner
Four persona poems: Minos, Ariadne, Daedalus, and The Minotaur.


This marks an author's first online publication Michelle Boisseau

This marks an author's first online publication Annie Boutelle
Christine Casson
This marks an author's first online publication Carolyn Creedon
Claudia Emerson
Daisy Fried
Diane Gilliam
Shadab Zeest Hashmi
Kathleen Jesme
Ilya Kaminsky
Marilyn Krysl
David Lee
Gary Copeland Lilley
Maurice Manning
Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Jo Rabins
Tim Seibles
This marks an author's first online publication Heidy Steidlmayer
Book Review
"Tourist in Hell" by Eleanor Wilner—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Copeland Lilley currently lives and teaches in Port Townsend, Washington. He is a North Carolina native and earned his M.F.A. from the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. His publications include four books of poetry, of which the most recent is Alpha Zulu (Ausable Press, 2008).

The Lamentations of Saint John Brown    

This is a hard road, Lord, you have me ride. My children have died while I was not at home. Now it is my time. The coming day will be a test of my faith and it will find me in the army of the righteous, heaven bound. I am in bondage to my oath to remove the great sin from this land. I wear my sorrow like a brace of pistols. I can not completely trust a man, black or white, afraid to die in the commission of God's will, to drink from the bitter cup and break the chains. That weakened heart, that disappointment, has long been a quality of the abolition forces. They put out a pamphlet and talk in the halls and churches, where even the Friends often judge a Negro to be criminal for the violence of liberating himself from under the oppressive hand, and they deliver him, for this offence, to the slavers to avoid prosecution from the laws. There is no higher law than God, there is no sterner judge. I bloodied my hands in Missouri, Lord. Fighting slavery I have cut the unjust to pieces, and now, Douglass, who purchased his freedom with coin, rides from the camp before the morning breaks at Harper's Ferry, having failed in his mission to recruit slaves from the plantations. He rides out with less than grace, Lord, through slave territory, dreadful and alone, but he does not look back.



© 2010 The Cortland Review