Mother Love

Mother Love

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by Rita Dove
     
 

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Marking the end of Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove's two-year term as Poet Laureate of the United States, this new collection again confirms her extraordinary power and grace as a poet. Mother Love calls upon the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone to examine the tenacity of love between mother and daughter, two tumblers locked in an eternal somersault: each… See more details below

Overview

Marking the end of Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove's two-year term as Poet Laureate of the United States, this new collection again confirms her extraordinary power and grace as a poet. Mother Love calls upon the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone to examine the tenacity of love between mother and daughter, two tumblers locked in an eternal somersault: each mother a daughter; each daughter a potential mother.

Editorial Reviews

Helen Vendler - The New Yorker
“Mother Love is an unsparing book. . . . Rita Dove's laser glance exposes and cauterizes its subjects in new and disturbing ways.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This slim volume shows Dove-Pulitzer Prize winner, novelist and 1993-95 U.S. Poet Laureate-at the height of her poetic powers. In the tightly crafted two-page introduction, essential to understanding these sequential poems, she cites Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus as her model. She notes that she has elected the tightly constrained sonnet form to explore the mother/ daughter drama because its narrators-here variously Demeter, Persephone and nameless modern-day mothers and daughters-``are struggling to sing in their chains.'' In some poems the speaker's energy breaks free, but Dove continually returns to the strict 14-linesonnet form. However, whereas Rilke maintains a division between self and other, the human and godly, Dove merges her voices into the voice of a single speaker. The result is vividly contemporary and ironic, occasionally bordering on farce. Hell is depicted as pseudo-cultured Parisian society or an Italian grotto; the narrator, confronting a ``gatekeeper'' who is obviously afraid of the dark presence before him, quips, ``hasn't he seen an American Black/ before? We find a common language: German.'' (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393038088
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/1995
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
92
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and musician, lives in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

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