Synopses & Reviews
Once again poet and translator Rosmarie Waldrop pushes the boundaries and definitions of poetry, prose, gender, relationship, even language itself in her new volume of prose poem "dialogues", Reluctant Gravities. Intended as a sequel to The Reproduction of Profiles and Lawn of Excluded Middle, Reluctant Gravities gives the rhetorical "you" addressed in those earlier volumes a voice and response. "I decided to give the second person equal time", says Waldrop. "But I'm not interested in characters, psychology, or in poetry's traditional 'persona' or mask. The voices do not 'represent, ' but frame the synaptic space between them". Some of Waldrop's concerns are formal. She "cultivates cuts, discontinuity, leaps, shifts of reference" in her attempts to compensate for the lack of a margin, where verse would turn toward the white of the page, toward what is not. Her "gap gardening tries to place the margin, the emptiness inside the text". But the point of the dialogues is purely human as the two voices with wit and philosophical playfulness debate aspects of "Aging", "Depression", "Desire", and even "The Millennium".
Author of over 15 books of poetry, prize-winning translator of Jabes and Celan, teacher, and (with husband Keith Waldrop) publisher of Burning Deck Press, Rosmarie Waldrop keeps re-establishing herself as one of our foremost avant-garde stylists and most original poet-philosophers.