Meteoric Flowers

Elizabeth Willis, Author . Wesleyan Univ. $22.95 (79p) ISBN 978-0-8195-6813-7

Guided by the spirit of 18th-century botanist and intellectual Erasmus Darwin (Charles's grandfather), the poems of Willis's fourth book attempt to reclaim a natural world that has been made hazy by postindustrial and popular culture. The 55 pieces that make up this cohesive collection are divided into four cantos of prose poems, which are interrupted by verses mimicking the miscellany found in Darwin's Botanic Garden , from which Willis (Turneresque , 1990) also takes her titles ("Grateful as Asparagus," "Loud Cracks from Ice Mountains Explained"). Disjunctive and densely packed poems mix pastoral language ("...a tree I think is sweeping out this country air") with postmodern ideas ("...America owns the moon") and up-to-the-minute phraseology ("'s mist upon the blog") to convey an earnest desire to relate to nature: "I do this work to word you." (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Open Ebook - 94 pages - 978-0-8195-6980-6
Paperback - 79 pages - 978-0-8195-6849-6
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