‘Song of the Dark Times’ by Khaty Xiong

— Hannah Cohen

Might I forage
a moment longer

I chose this poem for a number of reasons, one being the poem’s title is appropriate for the current era we are living in. I have read poems that matched my despair and lack of faith in this world, but something about ‘Song of the Dark Times’—every word rising and falling—speaks to me. Maybe it’s because after a much-needed hiatus, The Ellis Review is back to publishing work that can speak to us all. Xiong illustrates with descriptions of nature and the unnatural in her choice of stanza shape and use of ampersands to combine and break emotions: “my anger slain & whetted” and “& the names of others / crying to forget.” Melodic in line lengths and piercing in its imagery, ‘Song of the Dark Times’ reminds me why I continue to seek out poetry as a reminder, as a source of comfort and yes, even hope.

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