Collected Poems

Kay Boyle, Author Copper Canyon Press $10 (192p) ISBN 978-1-55659-039-9
Showcasing a poetic career spanning 65 years, this fine volume demonstrates the strength of Boyle's ( This Is Not a Letter and Other Poems ) commitment to a political aesthetic, one that combines a wealth of nuanced knowledge with a genuine liberal spirit. Boyle adopts a number of different voices, often vernacular, setting off opposing viewpoints to fully convey the scope of her themes. Although always attuned to the myriad beauty of existence, the poet never loses sight of the plight of the disenfranchised and the oppressed. Among Boyle's causes are homosexuality (``I speak of it as a thing with a future''), homelessness (``old hags cast up against the wainscoting of Grand Central's ladies' room''), and anti-Semitism (to make a point, she declares, ``I have had enough of the Jews, more than enough''). She also pays loving tribute to writers and friends who have influenced her along the way, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore among them. Boyle adopts a pretentiously baroque style at times, but more often, she prefers to explore colloquial American speech in all of its variety. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 172 pages - 978-1-55659-038-2
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