Before the War: poems as they happened

Lawson Fusao Inada

We are all the loves we ever lost.

I can’t for the life of me remember how this wound up on my hold list at the library, but there must have been some reason. The poems in this book span ten years, themes of jazz, WWII internment camps, and banalities set in several distinct locales around the US. A bit disappointing that my favorite poem was the first one, “Plucking Out a Rhythm,” but there are moments of finesse throughout.

This was the first volume of poetry by an Asian-American to be published by a major publisher.