Synopses & Reviews
The thirty-three narrative, linguistically-adventurous poems in She Didn't Mean To Do It range freely among styles and voices. Examining human emotions and behavior in all their contradictions, Daisy Fried turns a perceptive eye on those around her. Fried integrates metaphoric flights and idiosyncratic narrative, surprising us with the details -- "I saw that the wisteria/in dusk its same color hung (heavier than/the breasts of stabbed and stabber ever would be)" -- while her characters traipse across lines and pages. These are poems about human relationships, mostly romantic and sexual. They're also about jobs and work: urban, action-packed, and socially aware.
“Daisy Fried's everyday toughness of subject matter makes her all the more aware of tenderness, hence her delight in ‘the beauty of boys on skateboards,’ with their clean necks, and her feeling for both stabbed and stabber in her poem about the carnival. Maybe this is the book of the year, it has such range and it is so well-written, for her faithfulness to her emotion is matched by her carefulness of execution.”
“Daisy Fried is a very talented, very serious, but also a very playful, young poet who deserves a wide audience. Her poems have two things—story and song—that are rare in poetry today, even among far more experienced poets. Though her voice doesn't sound like anyone else's, it has a subtle affinity with the jazzy, cool, humorous tones of writers like August Kleinzahler and Dean Young. Fried is a pleasure to read, but the pleasure is often mixed with something bitter, or salty, or hard, and that's what makes her so good.”