Resurrection: Poems

Nicole Cooley, Author
Nicole Cooley, Author Louisiana State University Press $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8071-2059-0
Hardcover - 79 pages - 978-0-8071-2058-3
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In this first collection, winner of the 1995 Walt Whitman Award given by the Academy of American Poets, Cooley gives expected voices to a chorus of women--and a few men. Her muses range from fairy-tale characters like Snow White to real women of a bygone era, such as Frida Kahlo and Adele H. Common to many poems are the speakers' ambivalence toward their bodies (one of the book's three sections is called ""Noli Me Tangere"") and a tendency for the female speakers to be victims of some kind. Several poems resurrect Alice Liddell, the ""real"" Alice in Wonderland; one becomes an evocation of sexual abuse (""God took back all the bad daughters on Ash Wednesday,/ led them into his body, through the path of his throat"") and ends: ""Alice, I want to warn you. Alice./ Enter that water like a knife.'' More moving are poems about the speaker's female relatives. Writing mostly in long lines and two- or three-line stanzas, Cooley employs a gently lyrical style to explore the language of suffering, but this collection as a whole lacks momentum. (Apr.)
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