If I Had Wheels or Love: Collected Poems of Vassar Miller

Vassar Miller, Author, George P. Garrett, Introduction by Southern Methodist University Press $14.95 (358p) ISBN 978-0-87074-316-0
A steadfastly religious poet, Miller ( Approaching Nada ) perceives God everywhere, a spiritual companion whose presence sometimes nurtures and sometimes debilitates. God is ``At a Child's Baptism,'' holding the baby in His arms. In ``A Dream from the Dark Night,'' however, He refuses to break the unbearable silence of a woman's loneliness. As He Himself explains in ``Thus Saith the Lord to the New Theologians,'' no matter what happens, ``God is on the spot. / In all the murkiness, in all the splendor / God is involved, and so says God, `So what?' '' Like Emily Dickinson, Miller makes contact with immortality through her trenchant faith, yet cannot help questioning God's ways, beholding as she does the ``absolute'' sorrow of each human life. Also like Dickinson, Miller stretches the possibilities of language, twisting syntax and bending meaning to better convey the sacred vastness of her consciousness. Unfortunately, she sometimes sacrifices clarity of vision to the novelty of metaphor and wordplay. Overall, however, Miller's poems give deep insight into the spirituality of our mortal lives. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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