The Common

Gail Mazur, Author
Gail Mazur, Author University of Chicago Press $28 (81p) ISBN 978-0-226-51438-3
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Paperback - 74 pages - 978-0-226-51439-0
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In ``Traces,'' Mazur (The Pose of Happiness) reminds herself how crazy she must have been ``when I built a home/ over my father's bulldozed house.'' These two lines sum up her ongoing preoccupations: a sense of place and heritage; death and martyrdom. We travel with her from Boston to Houston to France. Her willingness to voice her imaginings can lead to certain arbitrary considerations; for instance, she superimposes Chernobyl on a boy carrying lilacs or meditates on an organ donor's past life. Her more emotional journeys carry greater weight. Poems about her father are especially poignant. We see him, deceased, taking the lawn mower out at night and cutting the cemetery's grass, or hear him singing with his young child. Mazur's polished craft is frequently more memorable here than any poem's emotional impact. (Apr.)
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