Iris: A Narrative Poem

Iris: A Narrative Poem

by Mark Jarman

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Few long poems combine the narrative and poetic modes as successfully as this complex, powerfully moving tale, which profiles an impoverished and abused young woman from Kentucky whose only redemption is the ``life she imagined from a book of poems''--namely, the work of Robinson Jeffers. His imagery echoes in Jarman's text and transforms Iris's dreary homes (in Western Kentucky, then Los Angeles) into a transcendent world: slicked-down hair shines ``like a wallet''; the road becomes a ``mottled snakeskin.'' The poem concludes with Iris reaching the end of her quest at Jeffers's magical seaside house and tower. A rich, seductive reading experience; the pages fairly turn themselves. Strongly recommended.-- Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
In this book-length narrative poem, Iris, a Kentucky woman in her twenties, escapes an abusive husband and returns home to her mother and drug-running brothers with her young daughter. Having discovered the poetry of Robinson Jeffers, her interest in his work, which she equates with mythical California and a new life, becomes an obsession. Published by Story Line Press, Three Oaks Farm, 27006 Gap Road, Brownsville, OR 97327-9718. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Story Line Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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