Synopses & Reviews
In her fifth book of poetry, Rosanna Warren explores the political and the personal through myth, history, elegy, and erotic lyric. Starting from a childhood memory of her mother, the poems contemplate wreckage and sorrow in family life, in Hurricane Katrina, and in the Trojan War, but also moments of eerie blessing.
There was something I wanted to say, at the age of twelve,
some question she hadn't answered,
and yesterday, so clearly seeing her pace before me
it rose again to the tip of my tongue, and the mystery was
not that she walked there, ten years after her death,
but that she vanished, and let twilight take her place-
"Warren's fifth book of poetry spans a wide range of topics, from classical mythology to personal traumas to both real and imagined histories. Warren approaches each subject with great directness. 'I am willing to be rewritten,' she says, and, 'as long as the danger lived outside/ me I couldn't write it.' These poems struggle to take others' pain in and then articulate it. One group of poems remembers her friend the poet and editor Deborah Tall: 'We touched hands, touched cheeks, as much/ to ascertain we still had bodies as to show/ the courtesies of separation.' Warren revives Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who famously designed Central Park, with the same intimacy she uses to recall memories of her loved ones in the extended meditation 'Earthworks,' which intertwines Olmsted's biography with quotes from Emerson's essays. And while the book is often elegiac, the poems are not without a kind of dark humor: 'I still have one good eye, and when I squint,/ you wouldn't believe what I see.' (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"An important poet . . . beyond the achievement of all but a double handful of living American poets."--Harold Bloom
About the Author
Rosanna Warren, the author of four collections of poetry, has received awards from the Academy of Arts and Letters and has won the Lamont Poetry Prize. She teaches at the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.