Susan H. Case’s Comments

“Six Easy Steps” and “Da I Numeri (He Gives Numbers): The Proposal” were written as love poems, for my husband, Eric Hoffmann, after a period in which I realized that I wrote a lot of conflict and breakup poems, but generally didn’t write about things going right. They were part of an attempt on my part to correct that imbalance and to do it in a way that didn’t sound like Love Sonnets from the Portuguese, a collection that I’m extremely fond of and didn’t think that I could improve upon. Although they are not metered like a traditional sonnet, I did keep to the 14-line form. “Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days” is meant to be an ironic commentary on the relative commercial rewards of diet advice and poetry, as two extreme forms of the written word. “Crystallized” was inspired by an article in the New York Times about a sighting in space and, lastly, “Couple at the Next Table” was an experiment with form (cinquains) and part of an ongoing series of poems I’ve written that connect in some way to the American Southwest, some others of which are reprinted or linked to at my Web site.

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