The Book of Medicines

Overview

National Book Critic's Circle Award finalist, 1994. Colorado Book Award winner."...elemental and direct with a tremendous evocative force of imagery..."—Publisher's Weekly

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Overview

National Book Critic's Circle Award finalist, 1994. Colorado Book Award winner."...elemental and direct with a tremendous evocative force of imagery..."—Publisher's Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Native American novelist and poet Hogan ( Seeing Through the Sun ) delivers poems of great verve. As in her other work, the poems anthologized here reflect both Hogan's Chickasaw heritage (``The grandmothers were my tribal gods'') and a feminist sensibility (``I want the world to be kinder. / I am a woman. / I am afraid''), and many touch upon a concern for the earth (``This is the world without end / where forests have been cut away from their trees''). Through a history of the word red, the opening piece demonstrates the common bonds linking all humanity (``Red is this yielding land turned inside out by a country of hunters. . . . And red was the soldier / who crawled / through a ditch / of human blood in order to live''). Hogan's poetry is spare, elemental and direct, with a tremendous evocative force of imagery. She imbues simple things like crows, salt and bamboo with grace and dignity. A brief poem about a drought brings together Native oral tradition and modern reality, forming a prayer for rain. A piece about a chambered nautilus is a respectful bow to poetic tradition and the well-known work of Oliver Wendell Holmes. With this all too brief volume, Hogan has come into her own as an artist. (June)
Library Journal
This is a book about skin: ``how wounds healed/ from inside themselves/ how life stands up in skin/ if not by magic.'' It is a book about the suffering of the skin: for example of hollow bamboo that tells a story not only of nature's beauty, but also of human cruelty--torture by whipping. But it is also about the potential for healing and rebirth: the blood of Hogan's Chickasaw ancestors is ``a map of the road between us.'' Hogan's short lines of unembellished free verse rely primarily on striking imagery, recurring metaphors, and strong statement: ``The whale is the thick house of yesterday/ in red waters.'' Although at times the reachings in these ambitious poems fall short of the mark, Hogan writes movingly about human possibilities and limitations, refusing to differentiate between body and spirit. Her poems pursue ``the hot barefoot dance/ that burns your feet/ but you can't stop/ trading gifts/ with the land.'' Recommended for poetry collections.-- Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566890106
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 803,675
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A Chickasaw writer, teacher, and activist, Linda Hogan has spent most of her life in Oklahoma and Colorado. A volunteer and consultant for wildlife rehabilitation and endangered species programs, Hogan has published essays for the Nature Conservancy and Sierra Club. Her fiction and poetry have received numerous awards including nominations from the Pulitzer Prize Board and National Book Critics Circle.

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