The Game of Statues

Martha Hollander, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (86p) ISBN 978-0-87113-369-4
In a remarkableused to describe essays, above.eed/i changed above/stet here/pk first volume of poems, winner of the 1989 Walt Whitman Award, Hollander treats us to a highly imaginative array of manner and matter. She weaves tantalizing, curiously humorous narratives, as in ``The Detective Examines the Body,'' where we follow, in Watsonian fashion, a sleuth from crime to solution. Her provocative work may begin in fantasy yet closes with sober reckonings: in ``You, Me and the Thing,'' a threatening creature, ``glittering and fanged,'' is revealed as ``our very own.'' If otherworldly landscapes prevail here, they always serve to illuminate private dreams, as when the moon, seen through a telescope, becomes ``the blank heart of our own lone eye.'' Even when Hollander writes of more conventional subjects--traveling in Europe, art, architecture--she sustains an exceptionally dramatic, often lushly romantic tone. Her poems finally strike us as similar to the Van Gogh canvas she describes in ``In the Museum'': ``That thick stroke, here in life-giving yellow, / there in blue, parodies a caress / that pulls back even as it agitates / and arouses.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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