Descendant

Marianne Boruch, Author Wesleyan University Press $10.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-8195-1161-4
At her best, Boruch ( View from the Gazebo ) poignantly merges her preoccupation with history with a keen awareness of the world around her, her language at once simple and mysterious. She makes breathtaking leaps from the real to the surreal, from the external to the internal; in contemplating a biscuit, she writes: ``Beauty invented surely as bread is invented on the nonchalant yeast, / as places come to be slowly, / a stray body of water growing conscious, its boats / absently longing toward a future.'' But such moments are infrequent. A disturbing sense of distance, even coldness, informs poems about family history. Her style can be frustratingly elliptical, her language hard to follow, some images barely related (in a tree, ``generations shimmering inhuman and perfect . . . / . . . sleep / all its groceries gathered''). Often her poems veer toward interpretations that seem forced or familiar: ``Nothing is opaque as summer. As if one could say / what percent of birds were bone, and saying it, know / anything at all.'' Boruch's talent will leave the reader wishing for a work in which her brilliance is sustained. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-0-8195-2160-6
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