State of Mind

Martha Ronk, Author Sun and Moon Press $10.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-55713-236-9
This subtly nuanced collection suggests both the nature of consciousness and the forms of conventional poetries. Ronk's main preoccupation is the conflict occasioned by a poetry that attempts to apprehend the states of mind of others through an author's hyper-alert attentions. ""The question of other minds is the question"" is the line that opens the book, and in the collection's first half, called ""State of Transition,"" the poet finds little success in capturing experience. In the next section, the beautifully effusive ""Not Just a Pronoun,"" the ""I"" takes itself as subject (as if the self is what has been transitioned to), and finds there a teeming, polymorphous scattering of utterance. The final section, ""Other Minds,"" consists of short glosses on literary consciousnesses-Eveline's in a Dubliners story, for example-and finds there, at last, a fluent voice, however compromised its reach. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2000
Release date: 11/01/2000
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