ODE TO BOSTON NEIGHBORHOODS
(The Emerald Necklace, Bunker on the Hill and other Tanka-Cantos) is a bright new collection of tanka or Japanese ´short-poems´ commending Boston, Massachusetts. In this new volume,
John Ross has written sixty tanka-cantos which highlight some of the city´s most
beloved historical and modern landmarks.
Chooing a five-line contemporary approach, governed by a precise 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern, Ross has created ´short-song-poems´ which are colorful bold images goverened by emotional restraint and economy of language; ones which seem to evoke a sense of lyrical
and colonial celebration toward his overall subject matter. Although each previous line
may provide a distinctive image or idea, the concluding two stanzas (each, a seven
syllable couplet) resolve by flowing
together as a larger unbroken "musical"
sequence; one whose theme is grounded in the celebration of Boston geography, culture and American colonial history.