Understory

Michelle Boisseau, Author, Molly Peacock, Foreword by Northeastern University Press $15.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-55553-286-4
The finest poems in Boisseau's second collection elegantly explore the black spaces in the nuclear family. Boisseau applies her knowledge to create a wonderful irony, as in ""Blood Sonata,"" which, written just after she gave birth, intersperses her personal journey with quotes from Leviticus, Pliny and this from Aristotle: ""The female is/ as it were/ a deformed male."" ""Pink Swing"" is a three-page sequence, thoughtful and moving, about her stepdaughter's visit. Occasionally, Boisseau's reliance on the classics is a crutch that trips her up, notably when the poems stray far from the radius of the autobiographical. When her references are used to expand upon her own experience, Boisseau is most successful, following her own observation: ""What's the use of metaphor if it can't make loss/ fathomable, and the loss of loss:/ a fathom is the measure of the arms/ outstretched."" Winner of the 1996 Samuel French Morse prize, this collection was selected and is introduced by Molly Peacock. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
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