Genius Loci

Alison Deming, Author Penguin Books $20 (112p) ISBN 978-0-14-303520-6
Attentive, discursive, given to forests and canyons, Deming's poetry and prose about wild places, plants and animals has earned her a reputation among nature writers, especially in the American West: ""So much of the world is broken/ and I want to be part of its healing,"" her third volume of verse explains. Starting with ""ground/ hallowed by scat and spit/ and pillage of wolf,"" examining ""pearly eggs of apple snails/ beaded onto pickerelweed,"" Deming (Science and Other Poems) writes at length about camping and hiking, trail beds and streams, then turns her attentions in part two from Arizona (where she lives and teaches) to New York, Hawaii and Provincetown. The volume's third part collects short poems about romantic longing and about public history; the more ambitious title sequence, with which Deming concludes, describes what she saw on a trip to the Czech Republic, from modern Prague through the legacy of the Holocaust to the ""swirly acres of yellow-headed sunflowers"" along that nation's rural routes. Deming may pay too high a price for clarity, and she can repeat herself when she strays from her descriptive strengths, but this book should please admirers of Mary Oliver, along with any other readers who seek serious, sincere thought about the natural world.
Reviewed on: 05/30/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-101-00729-7
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