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What Remains

More praise from poets for What Remains:

Orel Protopopescu’s poems travel into the corridors of exile and make you question what you know and refuse knowing, what insists on staying and what is forced to depart. What Remains is paved with music; it palpitates, and reaches where your shadow can’t reach.

--Nathalie Handal



Orel Protopopescu’s first book of poems, What Remains, delves into a life filled with drama, love, acceptance. Her language is generous, well-crafted, her style often narrative, sometimes elliptical. Orel is an accomplished author and writes poetry that is complex but always accessible.

--Claire Nicolas White



Orel Protopopescu is a poet of lyrical mastery and ease—and this, her initial volume of verse! I recall reading in Oberon 2010, a major Long Island journal, her “Listening to My Favorite Things From the Best of John Coltrane,” the poem, somehow, the echo of the man’s very music itself. I was in the presence of an uncommon poet, one to endure, with lines like, “His notes appear and disappear/like those slim, beautiful boys/who played basketball in torn Keds/ and leaned against the rough brick walls/of the projects until their dark skins/were scraped with comet trails.” Such prosody, ease in the telling—then this leap to “comet trails.” I have never encountered such a reaching out in an urban poem, this song to inject meaning into lives of those who… “shot for the stars/and fell, leaving their music in my head,” as it remains in mine.

--Vince Clemente