Campo Santo: Poems

Susan Wood, Author Louisiana State University Press $16.95 (63p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1676-0
Wood ( Bazaar ) writes crisp narratives that mix the linearity and concreteness of conventional stories with the emotional and spiritual abstraction of poetry. The poet uses events from her own life to illustrate lessons she has learned that she hopes will strike an affinitive chord with her readers. Unfortunately, although readers may identify with her succinct and piquant summing up of experience, the messages Wood imparts are rarely revelatory, wringing significance out of situations that don't have much to offer. In a poem about her restless teenage years, falling in love for the first time and cruising around the streets looking for excitement, Wood tells us that ``it wouldn't have helped to know / how many times we'd really have to sing the blues in twenty years, that the object of love changes / but desire persists.'' Another poem sets up a parallel between the ways in which children and adults deal with their innermost fears. Speaking of the Christmases of her youth, Wood says, ``children make / of rituals a way to give anticipation / form, and more, it stayed our fears . . . We know it now as falling in love.'' (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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