Fort Bragg & Other Points South: Poems

Rosemary Daniell, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (72p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0692-6
These potent poems explode on the page with an unbridled honesty and a staccato rhythm. Daniell (A Sexual Tour of the Deep South), at times relentlessly vivid, depicts the stigmas, anger and strength of women, particularly in the South. The violence, victimization, ambivalence and recklessness that characterize both sex and war become indistinguishable to Daniell: `` . . . the glory of living among men/ as cruel as hard as you aspire/ to be snapping to saying yes sir!/ dismantling reassembling pulling/ the pin on shooting off the heavy stuff/ hacking through brush wth a real bayonet.'' Toward the end of the book, there are also moments of optimism, even celebration: ``but what else is true/ is: joy. My lover/ at table his body as/juicy as succulent/ as the tulip stalks/ my daughter in a red robe/fresh blood coursing between/ her thighs spreads homemade/ bread with strawberries red/ red jam . . . Darlene the pink-gray cat/ purrs atop the creamy/ afghan its cerise roses.'' Daniell's passion is huge, and for the most part she translates it successfully into poetry, although there are spots where the choppiness of images renders the logic hard to follow. What makes this poet's second collection so appealing is the tenacity with which she bares her insight. Unbounded energy and confidence of expression imparts her message, amid fury and pain, as ultimately life-affirming. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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