Sarah's Choice

Eleanor Wilner, Author University of Chicago Press $15 (110p) ISBN 978-0-226-90028-5
In the title poem here, Sarah, not Abraham, is commanded by God to sacrifice their son. She refuses ``in a soft voice, a speech / the canon does not record.'' She searches for Ishmael, telling Isaac, `` `You must know your brother / now, or you will see your own face looking back / the day you're at each other's throats.' '' Modern political strife might have been avoided had women been in control, Wilner implies. Seeking meaningful relation of past to present, Wilner ( Shekhinah ) produces feminist reworkings of history (drawing from fairy tales, mythology and the Old Testament) as well as more intimate poems dedicated to friends and other poets. Too many poems tend toward abstraction, lacking a focused philosophy. Unlikely juxtapositions (such as Sleeping Beauty with Treblinka) are provocative but unsuccessfully resolved. A tendency toward romanticism and overstatement is well- contained in the historical pieces but mars the more personal works. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/17/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 110 pages - 978-0-226-90027-8
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