Six O'Clock Mine Report

Irene McKinney, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $10.95 (45p) ISBN 978-0-8229-5415-6
From a celebration of birds to a first-person account of Mary Shelley's miscarriage, McKinney ( The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap ) reveals an impressive range in subject and tone of voice. Sometimes she simply takes notice of the world in all its beauty, oddity and humor, as in a scene from ``Potts Farms, Summer 1955'': ``Aunt Floss is baking bread and laughing, / clacking her false teeth''; elsewhere her observations shed light on the observer. ``Starlings in the walls at night'' suggest the discord within the narrator (``my feet / chilling on the bare boards, birds in my blood, on my hair'') while the speaker's nonchalant tone and the ordinary images depicted in ``Pike County Breakdown'' make the poem all the more frightening. Some readers may find the central sequence of poems spoken by Emily Dickinson less convincing, and McKinney's evenness of emotional pitch enervates and frustrates at times. But this collection contains writing that intrigues and disturbs. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 45 pages - 978-0-88748-506-0
Hardcover - 45 pages - 978-0-8229-3611-4
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