A Little White Shadow

Mary Ruefle, Author . Wave Books $12 (42p) ISBN 978-1-933517-03-2
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Alongside her justly known poems, Ruefle (Tristimania , 2003) also crafts what she calls "erasures," found texts from which she has crossed out almost all the words, leaving only a tiny poem's worth per page; the latter make up this book. In this pocket-sized reproduction of a whited-out 19th-century volume, Ruefle etches haiku-like minifables, sideways aphorisms, and hauntingly perplexing koans ("the dead/ borrow so little from/ the past/ as if they were alive") from what must have been an unusual text to begin with (Ruefle borrows the book's original title). As much a statement about the act of reading as the act of writing, this is a strange and lovely work by a singular poet. (May 1)

Reviewed on: 02/20/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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