Original Love: Poems

Molly Peacock, Author
Molly Peacock, Author W. W. Norton & Company $17.95 (91p) ISBN 978-0-393-03741-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-393-31466-3
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Peacock (Take Heart) moves away from her well-crafted formal poems, many virtually indistinguishable from those of a dozen other poets, to speak here in a voice uniquely her own. Explicit eroticism rivals that of Sharon Olds, while the angst welling up in some innocent rhymes echoes Sylvia Plath's ``Daddy.'' As Peacock says in a poem offering instructions for suicide: ``you feel pain,/ my darling thing, because you feel warm.'' The woman narrating these poems hates her body and its demands as much as she hates her mother and her needs, especially the care required by her parent in her dying. Frequent sexual references seethe with undertones of sadomasochism. Exploring three loves-for lover, mother, self-Peacock presents a highly charged portrait of a woman moving out of a dysfunctional family, needing to be safely cherished by another before coming to terms with her past, and finally learning to love herself. Although burdened by knowledge of human fallibility, Peacock's relentless search is deterred by neither illness nor death. (Mar.)
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