Window Left Open

Jennifer Grotz. Graywolf (FSG, dist.), $16 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-55597-730-6
The curiosities of a poet aren’t just for proof of the sublime, and Grotz (The Needle) finds reason for intellectually excavating even the simplest of objects and creatures, such as snow, scorpions, sundials, and poppies. Her poetry can be playful as she speaks in accessible riddles, always aware of the line between a lush metaphor and an excessive, hollow display. The opening stanza of “The Snow Apples” is one example of Grotz’s preference for the power of simplicity: “the snow apples that still hang/ on otherwise bare branches,/ why won’t they let go?” Their stubborn refusal to detach from the tree can be viewed as an action that is just as human as someone refusing to let go of the past, a relationship, or a memory. The following poem, “Snow,” further showcases Grotz’s keen eye as she contrasts her desert upbringing with the realities of northern climes. Her humble, trance-like assessment of the natural world continues into “Snowflakes,” where each flake presents the chance to contemplate unreplicated beauty. Grotz establishes an intimacy with her readers through the deconstruction of personal moments, as depicted in “Hangover in Paris” and “Denial.” Some readers may find Grotz’s style too casual, while others may lavish praise on her adroit language as she renders the quotidian into devastating vulnerability. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 02/02/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-55597-923-2
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