The Second Child

Deborah Garrison, Author . Random $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6359-8

With its accessible wit, and its clear, unpretentious depictions of young Manhattanites' worries and joys, Garrison's 1998 debut, A Working Girl Can't Win , won rare attention. The poetry editor at Knopf, Garrison resides in northern New Jersey with three young children: these poems chronicle her new, decidedly family-centered life, with the same offhand charm. Writing of infants, she speaks as a mother to mothers, understanding both love and fatigue: "Have you/ ever been in the shuttered room/ where life is milk? Where you make/ milk?" As her children grow up (and grow in number), Garrison's poetry follows them: "No time for a sestina for the working mother/ Who has so much to do." Other recurring topics appear through the lens of motherhood. September 11 gave her a "powerful and inarticulate" wish "to be pregnant"; charming amorous poems depict her continuing ties to her husband, the father of her children, and a bus ride through the Lincoln Tunnel reminds her that "life is good,/ despite everything." While many of Garrison's poems may not surprise, they may provoke shocks of recognition in many readers—parents, in particular—who should find both her topics and her tones reassuringly familiar. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 88 pages - 978-1-58836-727-3
Paperback - 76 pages - 978-0-8129-7388-4
Paperback - 62 pages - 978-1-85224-798-0
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