Music Minus One: Poems

Jane Shore, Author
Jane Shore, Author Picador USA $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14686-3
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-312-16944-2
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Shore's third collection (after Eye Level, winner of the Juniper Prize, and The Minute Hand, winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize) is a virtuoso performance. Working from an autobiographical base, she captures the nuances of an intense childhood lived as if every decision will be crucial for the lives of everyone around her. Many poems focus on laughable recollections--of the stuffed baby chick she was certain gave her chicken pox, of herself, a Jewish child singing a Christmas carol, of herself as a girl in a heat wave, topless in front of her father ""for the very last time."" Poems probing her transition from child to adult are less strong, but those focusing on motherhood, after the birth of her daughter, are powerful. Some of these poems pair a present image with one from the past with stunning results: her father's death with his teaching her as a child the combination to the safe in his store; her frail, terminally ill mother with the act of of constructing with her own young daughter the Visible Woman model kit. Picador's first volume of poetry is a winning collection. (Sept.)
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