From the Bones Out

Marisa de los Santos, Author University of South Carolina Press $14.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-57003-323-0
""My lover tells me I am like this place./ I tell him what I miss: the slap of leaves/ on skin and air that's like a damp embrace."" The poems of this debut have a Cinderella-like innocence, transforming ugliness into beauty and waving the wand of well-crafted metaphor over all they encounter. The horrific suicide of a grandfather, a mother's cancer, the mourning for a stillborn child, the potential foreclosure of a neighbor's farm are all recounted with a refined clarity. Yet through it all, de los Santos manages to frame life's traumas with a voice that can seem borrowed from the Stage Manager in Our Town: ""Some years/ were fair, but most were bad./ The taxes, worse than weevil, tried/ to take each dime she had."" However, there are also poems, such as ""Io's Gift,"" that evoke, through their subtlety and sensuality, the pleasures of the ever-changing consciousness of the female body: ""I learned myself, bit/ by bit, or maybe I/ should say I dawned/ upon myself, a slow dawning."" There are also glamorous poems, including ""Supermodel,"" and ""Perfect Dress,"" in which the poet indulges in herself as an object of perfect beauty: ""Someone will murmur,/ `She is sublime,'/ will be precisely right, and I will step,/ with incandescent shoulders,/ into my perfect evening."" In its worked simplicity, this is a first book that offers a formula of hope and clarity when confronting life's trials and tribulations. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Show other formats
Hardcover - 90 pages - 978-1-57003-320-9
Hardcover - 90 pages - 978-1-57003-322-3
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.