The author of Flights of the Harvest-Mare combines precise, razor-sharp imagery with surrealistic narratives in this superb collection. Peopled by explorers, scientists and fishermen, her settings, integral to the poems' action, are ice floes, dark mine shafts, pioneers' wagonsdreamscapes described with breathtaking clarity and insight. Indeed, it is her characters' visions that interest Bierds, the epiphanies that project in sharp relief against the bleak, quiet landscapes, so that the environs become both a trigger for and an extension of interior worlds. ``Within the Horse Latitudes'' depicts sailors' reactions to the drowning of their horses in 1750: ``Again, no wind. / The day burns and burns. / . . . Compressed at the center of this stillness, / arid and load-heavy, the ship / cups its panic like an oval flame. / . . . Deep in this half-lit / and perfect silence, they stop, close their eyes, / and here is the land of their birth after all, /its water simple and everywhere.'' This haunting, evocative showcase marks Bierds as a poet to follow with anticipation. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988 Release date: 11/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.