“Sexy, telegraphic, edgy, and rapt. . . . Exquisitely visual, cuttingly witty, Moore’s poems are at once cool and searing.”—Booklist
Publishers WeeklySometimes vivid, haunting and condensed, sometimes given to talky anecdotes, Moore's third collection overall marks an advance on 2001's Darling. Strongly sexual archetypes and colorful scenes from disturbing fairy tales light up the short lines of the first, and best, poems. "Hotel Brindisi" makes the poet into a mermaid: "My gold tail swam dark green water." Quatrains about waking up at the beach approach echolalia: "Bodies in water or love/ Rub of blue glue on a girl's dove." Three longer poems record three of Moore's unsettling dreams in clear, terse prose. A sequence entitled "Beaut " memorializes the Austrian photographer and world traveler Inge Morath (1923-2002), whom Moore befriended late in life. Occupying the second half of the book, this sequence mixes brief, hallucinatory verse about death and grief with long-lined recollections of Morath's words and deeds: "When I met her I was thirty-nine," Moore recalls, "though now I'm no younger than she was// the day she came to take the first portrait." Here Moore's verse can seem artless ("every poem delineated circumstances/ in which my friend now found herself") though its strength of feeling remains. As in The White Blackbird (Moore's biography of her grandmother, the American painter Margarett Sargent), Moore's attention to visual patterns, to how things look and how they appeal to the eye, remains intense throughout. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalColors swirl through Moore's third book, filling it with light and energy. As befits a painter's granddaughter and biographer, Moore (Darling) uses color the way other writers use music or word-play: as a focal and gathering point: "We'll stop at the rise in the road where/ it all vanishes behind a meadow, ermine/ or swathes of green, but I keep track of/ green." She perfects a kind of impressionist touch with subjects such as sex or loss, implying much with a few choice words. Absence is a recurring theme; Moore longs for her dead parents and aunt and particularly for a dear friend, the photographer Inge Morath. The third section of the book, "Beaute," records her homage and response to Morath's last days. ("Who but God's hand/ could turn a body to light/ the shard of ice to water in her mouth?") Moore also captures exquisitely the fleetingness and charged sensuality of sex: "the hand he slid into me/ actually made flesh a river." She avoids showcasing an intellectual bent, though one exception is "Wallace Stevens," in which a dream-Stevens describes a poem as "a dry precisely formed leaf, on it two insects." But Moore's poems are the exact opposite. Compare them instead to transitory sense organs, reminding us to see again, to look deeper and longer, and to really feel. Highly recommended for both popular and academic collections.-Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Los Angeles TimesThese poems . . . spin themselves out of a centrifuge of hypnotic reverie and desire. They are as intense in unfurling the colors of seduction as they are in shading the darker, more inflected, hues of elegy. Grief and desire flow together here, becoming a single mesmerizing red-blue flame.
Carol Muske-Dukes - Los Angeles Times“These poems . . . spin themselves out of a centrifuge of hypnotic reverie and desire. They are as intense in unfurling the colors of seduction as they are in shading the darker, more inflected, hues of elegy. Grief and desire flow together here, becoming a single mesmerizing red-blue flame.”
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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