Ellen Bryant Voigt
Kyrie: Poems

Kyrie: Poems

I picked up Kyrie at the suggestion of an author friend who told me it was simply stunning and I had to read it—but when I began I had NO IDEA this collection of blank verse sonnets was about the 1918 influenza pandemic. The dedication, drawn from Alfred Crosby's book America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, reads, "Nothing else—no infection, no war, no famine—has ever killed so many in as short a period."

I'm glad I read this, but emotionally, it was a tough go, with lines like, "The weeks of fewer cases were a tease" and "How we survived: we locked the doors and let nobody in." Published in 1995, this is already a modern classic, and I expect readers will be returning to this collection for decades to come.

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