Path to Fairview

Julia Randall, Author Louisiana State University Press $34.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1782-8
Spanning a 40-year career, this collection embraces early, somewhat self-absorbed reflections and Randall's ( Moving in Memory ) more authorative, outward-looking later work. In Romantic poems that praise a sense of place, she invokes her exemplars--Yeats, G. M. Hopkins and especially Wordsworth: ``I have done nothing all day but stare / at the dishes, and read Wordsworth / on hiding-places, him who knew so well / what we see clear, but clumsily half-tell.'' Early poems are imitative and self-consciously aesthetic. But as Randall abandons the traditional quatrain for open forms and a freer line, her poems grow more self-assured while retaining their lyricism. Recent poems, for example, explore family kinships: ``I am the half that lived deep down. / My body is taking me there, but I will come / down with a difference. At sixty-nine, / I am in a place my mother has never been.'' Randall's most engaging poems capture the pleasure of isolated moments, especially as they feed the imagination of, say, a painter like Monet: ``Bearded to match his willows, he sits here / by his pond. . . . Let the world be done. / In the quiet of the lilies, never won / since Eden rose and the archangel fell, / that battle with the light goes on and on.'' (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 186 pages - 978-0-8071-1783-5
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