The Deronda Review

a journal of poetry and thought

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The following letter was sent out with the Vol. I, No. 1 of The Deronda Review:

November 25, 2007

Dear fellow-poets and friends of poetry,

Herewith we’re sending you the premier issue
of The Deronda Review, formerly known as
The Neovictorian/Cochlea.
With the name-change,
and the welcoming of Mindy Aber Barad
as our co-editor for Israel,
some things remain the same. As heretofore,
this is a kind of wildlife sanctuary
for poems that appear to us informed
by a wish to hold fast something of value
in a verbal shape that has integritas
(which may be just a fancy way of saying
“for poems that we like”). The innovations
reflect a wish to pay a greater tribute
to one thing of inestimable value
whose destiny is now a burning question
that implicates the destiny of all –
we mean the land of Israel. And therefore
we have renamed our journal for a work
of Western literature – George Eliot’s
Daniel Deronda – where to Western vision
that land comes into focus as a source
of light; and, with the land, the great tradition,
so long obscured by prejudice (which even
a levelling “tolerance” has not removed)
yet holding, still, some teaching in reserve
which at this juncture of the human struggle
just might come in handy.
Well, this is
a poetry journal still – not, then, a venue
for arguments on politics and religion,
rather a place where the report of personal
experience, observation, and reflection
from every compass-point may gain a hearing.
As usual, we have organized the issue
as a conversation upon several themes.
First comes a group of poems that record,
from various climes, the changing of the seasons;
then (since this is the darkest season) thoughts
of those whom death has claimed, more and less gently,
of dark spots on the map of human welfare;
following that, poems that contemplate
the fate of nature and our nurturing planet;
which leads into sequence of reflections
(affirming, reassessing) on our various
stabs at self-transcendence, at connection
with something that might offer us a sky-hook.
Then, so to speak, out of the blue, we have
songs about birds (a motif that crops up
in other sections too). And almost last,
a section of reports “from deep within
the land” of Israel – from those who live there, or
dwell there in spirit. And, to close, some verses
just meant to cheer or comfort – which to offer
bards, even now, ought not to think beneath them.
We hope you will support this magazine,
and spread the word about it as you can,
whether for poetry’s golden sake or for
our undertaking of being a slender bridge
between two worlds, each one so rich and threatened
(Reva Sharon’s digital photograph
– powerful, capable of many meanings –
upon the cover, to us portends exchange
of energies, along a narrow channel,
amid a tenebrous turbulence...)
And lastly,
since the old “Neovic” is History
(for which we’ll take a cup of kindness yet),
we’d like to say a word for its back issues,
which, in that “heart-bright future” (Paul Celan)
when the craft of poetry shall right itself,
will be collector’s items, but which now
may be acquired for just three dollars each
(that’s about twice the postage). On the back
you’ll find a list of issues still on hand
with something on the matter each contains.
Wishing you all this season’s deepest light,

Esther Cameron, Editor
Mindy Aber Barad, Co-Editor for Israel

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