Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life

by Allison Joseph

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Editorial Reviews

If Imitation of Life were a novel it would be considered a "coming of age" story, as these poems use an episodic approach to trace a journey from innocence to realization, a progression through disillusionment to recognition, an evolution never far removed from family. Presented in the first person, this is an account of the turmoil of youth and adolescence with conflicts of race, gender, culture, age and authority, all of which contribute to the person who emerges at the conclusion, someone sensitive and conscious of a world well beyond herself. Joseph retrospectively presents an objective realization of the difference between the fantasy world of childhood and reality. "She was the girl everyone cheered, / the gifted child we all hoped to be / before mirrors and magazines / told us otherwise." She candidly portrays her own perplexity with that world and the trials it presents. "But I don't know who / to hate yet, who the targets are...." And she is insightful enough to recognize that her mature consciousness comes at a price. "I've lost my daughter's logic, / the sense that lets me know / exactly where my father is / at any given moment." This journey has an energy that is reminiscent of Sandburg's "Chicago" in its recreation of setting and atmosphere. Against this background the poems are convincing in their portrayal of character and identifiable in addressing conflict on numerous levels. This is an accessible and universal expedition, one of memory and discovery, a trip that is not always comfortable but is always interesting and ultimately recognizable and enlightening. KLIATT Codes: SA�Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, CarnegieMellon, 103p.,
— James Beschta

Product Details

Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date:
Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

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