Fieldglass

Catherine Pond. Southern Illinois Univ, $16.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-0-8093-3814-6
Pond’s scintillating debut examines family history, female friendship, geography, and sexual identity in poems of startling craft and vision. Many entries contend with the pressure to conform to normative sexualities, and Pond uses the apt metaphor of snow to express a sense of suffocation: “Snow fell forever/ in that room/ and the heater moaned/ in the electrical closet.” Images convey much of the speaker’s internal fears of isolation, rejection, even institutionalization: “The pine trees/ stood tall in their refusal, antique, undiagnosed.” The speaker’s awakening to queer perspectives on desire opens up new and complex possibilities of relating to the body and erotic love: “For years I let no one touch me. I had myself to preserve./ Not to mention the poems, which, like rocks, refused penetration./ It was a surprise to discover my body, collapsed like a bridge,/ but still beautiful, still wet with snow.” Throughout, poems accumulate and echo off one another, unveiling a distinctive and highly perceptive queer identity on the page. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 04/05/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
Book - 978-0-8093-3815-3
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