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by Diana O'Hehir

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The theme of loss is addressed in this collection, and O'Hehir expresses the resulting denial, dissatisfaction and slow renewal candidly and urgently. The acclaimed poet as well as novelist translates abstract anger, fear and passion into elegant and sonorous po ems. She combines direct tone with ex otic and intriguing metaphors; her details are sharp and visual, her imagination vigorous. About the continuing deterioration of her marriage she is solemn, ambivalent, but not maudlin. Though she confronts her father's imminent death boldly, she admits her fears about the inevitable void it will leave, the keener awareness of her own mortality. To move away from the emptiness of her losses O'Hehir fantasizes, unabashedly, with humor: ``Every night since I left you I've been unfaithful / With anyone handy: God, a television voice, an airplane / baggage checker.'' She is deft and innovative in her comparison of the power of natural phenomena to the frailty and uncertainty of the human condition. In ``Mosquitoes'': ``Killing them, though, one of the few times / We master events. Not, Does he love me, are they / Talking, will they forgive, am I / Intruding, but / Finished. In a final smear of blood / Across the palm.'' (September)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Many of the poems in this third book of poetry focus on death and loss. Though the poet chronicles the demise of her aging father; recalls what little memory she has of her mother, who died when she was four; and contemplates the death of love in her disintegrating marriage, she never becomes maudlin or sinks into self-pity. She claims with bitter irony that ``every scrap of disaster'' is God's privilege, while also affirming (through the persona of Charlotte Bronte) that ``Yes, some kind of life is here/ You did well/ . . . / To hold fast.'' Through her poems, O'Hehir brings us the perfume exuded by ``The skin of that world'' we live in and call home. Grace Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and St. Univ. , Blacksburg

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Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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