Fire Lyric and Other Poems

Cynthia Zarin, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19 (71p) ISBN 978-0-679-42003-3
Zarin's ( The Swordfish Tooth ) second collection extends the skill and promise of her first: with a voyaging delicacy, she visits surfaces and drops into vast centers without losing balance. An unusual aplomb is at play and at work here, almost regardless of Zarin's subject, occasion, or point of departure: an opossum in ``The Opossum's Dream,'' a tender dream of transformation and a tour through nature; the ornately precise stanzas of ``The Venetian Optician,'' reminiscent in their artfulness of the tricks, whorls and very conscious fantasy of Venetian glass; or the simple, humble ``bruise that seemed to leave no mark'' of the flowers named in ``White Violets in South Hadley,'' a short lyric. Zarin demands and offers acuity of language, and her model would seem to be nature's, as seen in an ant hill, a grapevine, an Italian landscape, or a cormorant. But she takes the model and seems to purefy it, rendering her own version: ``Scarf of moon fallen, fist / of ash, so white she's indiscreetly / virginal, the snow hare has turned her coat / too fast, and now on a swath of beat- / down grass is camped in her / absolutely non-camouflaging / briar house.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 71 pages - 978-0-679-74998-1
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