The Second Blush

Molly Peacock, Author
Molly Peacock, Author . Norton $23.95 (85p) ISBN 978-0-393-06651-7
Reviewed on: 05/19/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Paperback - 88 pages - 978-0-7710-6962-8
Paperback - 85 pages - 978-0-393-33767-9
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Since the 1980s, Peacock has used her gifts for meter and rhyme to portray, and to praise, her own experience, framing brief encounters, regrets and sexual joys with energy and clarity that suggest poets from Edna St. Vincent Millay to Marilyn Hacker. This sixth collection touches on what she has shared with her husband—their first encounters as teenagers, their years apart before they fell in love as adults, his near-fatal illness and their happy life in Toronto now: “you drop a clue,/ and the land reshapes;/ I pick it up,/ and we pull through,/ so far.” This entertaining if occasionally glib volume may seem to some readers a model of how to put one's own life into verse. Yet readers who seek unity in Peacock's sixth collection might look not to its people but to its cats—the feline members in Peacock's household are the subjects of the book's strong sonnets. When one cat dies, the poet considers mortality, family and pathos more generally; when another thrives, “The sound of well-being starting/ and continuing, the full flesh clock, true/ to its pledge—now-were, now-ere—is our purr.” (June)

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