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Bible Flowers by Pavilion Books
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Bible Flowers

by Pavilion Books

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In her fifth collection of poems Mary Kinzie continues to extend her formal reach, drawing out her lines with a quiet daring that reveals an elegiac thread in the most conversational cadences (a good example is her long poem "Cilantro," about erotic attraction). And while continuing to explore complex forms (quatrain, sonnet, ode, sestina) and to find her voice in syllabics, alcaics, and varieties of free verse, she also tries to bring unaccustomed subject matter into her ken. To call her themes merely "domestic" or "personal" is to fall short of the sense of elation and dread with which even the gentlest act of attention is performed. Kinzie is only "domestic" in the way Emily Dickinson is, and "personal" with the same severity toward confession that marks the poetry of Louise Bogan -- both writers of the sharp, condensed image, to whom she has been compared. But unlike them she is also engaged by expansive periods and interwoven sentences in the fashion of meditative poets from Horace to Stevens. Like her previous book, Autumn Eros, this new volume (including the long and substantial title poem) is distinguished by many moving poems about her daughter, written with the full understanding that the gift of this radiant being makes the mother vulnerable in a way she had never been -- a d also, for better or worse, more irrevocably connected to the world. "Mary Kinzie's new book of poems, Ghost Ship, like all her work, in poetry and in criticism, is characterized by its moral intensity and rigor. Her seriousness is perpetually adventurous. Her adventurousness shows itself in the constantly surprising angles from which she sees things and in the extraordinarily wide variety of successful formal experimentation in her poems."… (more)

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