Cate Marvin. Norton, $25.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-393-07798-8
Marvin (Fragment of the Head of a Queen) has produced a collection—her third—of spectral, charged poems: a wild, ferocious bunch capable of emotional darkness, bound by a strong poetic I. As Marvin writes, “If the town had one huge umbrella, we might all join/ to carry it above us together. But there is no together.” This realization provides the freedom to explore different angles on tragedy, loss, and vulnerability, with Marvin weaving vivid, uncanny lines amid narrative, confessional poems that attempt to shed light on various forms of violence (physical, sexual, emotional) against women. The goal is virtuous, even if some of the poems fall flat in the process. Still, it’s a successful call to arms, an urgent plea to express the self in the midst of constant hurt and tragedy. Poetry, with its crucially intangible value, is the weapon of choice. “What am I coming to poetry for?” she asks herself. “Make something no one can use that/ no one wants. Don’t ask why. It builds character.” This character building, perhaps, is the best possible response to a violent and challenging universe. And of course, she pulls no punches: “We need more cold sores, need more of what you/ won’t give us; give us some true ugliness.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/16/2015
Release date: 03/01/2015
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-0-393-24657-5
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