Destroying Angel

Nancy Eimers, Author Wesleyan University Press $12.95 (54p) ISBN 978-0-8195-1196-6
Eimers writes of the horror of human existence in all its guises. She focuses on the terrible events of history--the Holocaust, Hiroshima--as well as the insidious states of feeling, such as loneliness, fear, emptiness, which comprise our everyday lives. In one of two wonderful poems about Anne Frank, the deprivation experienced in a small closed-in space makes for a more imaginative way of perceiving: Anne ``believes the everydayness of things / has a truer version we have to invent, / that though fresh air and sunlight are done with us for the time, / we have not even started with them.'' A six-part poem mixes grotesque details of the devastation wreaked by an atomic bomb with matter-of-fact descriptions of the activities of survivors, as if life were a continuum dotted with unspeakable occurrences that must be confronted pragmatically. Nor is a bomb the only signal of death's ubiquity. Safe in our houses, we ``wake in the middle of the night . . . everyone's snores interrupting, ignoring each other, and something larger behind them'' goes ``on and on.'' In her debut volume, Eimers expertly juxtaposes the ordinary with the monumental, creating an edgy, unresolvable tension that holds readers rapt. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Hardcover - 54 pages - 978-0-8195-2194-1
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