That Kind of Danger


Winner of the 1993 Barnard New Women Poets Prize.
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Winner of the 1993 Barnard New Women Poets Prize.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The appeal of this fine collection is in its intense clarity of language, which, like the city that inspired many of its poems, is gritty, complex, and always in motion. Highly recommended.—Library Journal

"Donna Masini's poems are on the wave-length of Whitman and Rukeyser but are inimitably her own: urban, sexual, working-class, passionate, marked by great moral intelligence and generosity." —Adrienne Rich

"Brave and honest writing." —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Masini is a poet of passion whose particularly American voice can be heard in the most unlikely of poetic settings. In this, her first book, she has chosen unlyrical urban spaces--basements, parking lots, a bandshell by a river--and transformed these landscapes with generosity and energy. Subterranean forces take part in the play of her imagery, and the writer controls their resonance. In ``What Drives Her,'' for instance, a poem about a woman dancing, the process of memory is described in terms of surfacing: ``Her father dances inside her, / a kind of dim, gritty music. / And her heart, her insistent heart, / floats up panting /as though shaken up / from a buried place.'' To Masini's credit, a reader may feel that some of the surfacing going on in these poems is still happening, that the poems are the byproducts of the process, or even the process itself. Her gaze is steady, whether looking at horror or beauty ``we learn to live in a torn place''; when evoking a place or a moment, she effectively mixes the mundane with the sublime, as in ``Wheel of Fortune'' alluding both to the TV game show and to the Tarot's archetypal wheel of fortune. The choices she makes in her poems lead to brave and honest writing, even if formal considerations are sometimes sacrificed on the confessional altar. Apr.
Library Journal
Born and raised in New York's ``outerboroughs,'' Masini vividly expresses her love of her native city in passionate, tough poems that recall the tonsile muscularity of Whitman, another indefatigable walker of the city's streets: ``I knew brick and concrete, glass and lights,/ the diamond sidewalks that burned in the summers,/ the cement walk . . . slate blocks/ thrust up by the movement of trees.'' She also writes compellingly of her working-class immigrant background: her furnace repairman father, blackened by grease and soot; her alluring but volatile mother; her dying 92-year-old grandfather ``my grandfather is sleeping/ Basta./ Dormi in pace ora./ Dante. Recipes. Ave Maria.'' The appeal of this fine first collection, winner of the 1993 Barnard New Women's Poets Prize, is its intense clarity of language, which, like the city that inspired many of its poems, is gritty, complex, and always in motion. Highly recommended for collections of contemporary poetry.-- Christine Stenstrom, Shea & Gould Law Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807068236
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Series: Barnard New Women Poets Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Giants in the Earth 3
Woman to Woman 6
Nights My Father 8
Home 11
What Drives Her 14
Familiar 17
Looks That Kill 19
Eye of the Skull 24
At the Bandshell by the River 26
Who Giveth This Woman 31
Hunger 33
That White Sustenance 35
Before the Bridge: A Story 36
Nightscape 39
Sleep and Marriage 41
Easter on Staten Island 43
Wheel of Fortune 46
Winter-Seeming Summer 50
Beauty 51
Caul 55
Learning to See 56
At the Exhibit of Peter Hujar's Photographs, Grey Art Gallery, NYC, 1990 63
Girl, Gingerpot, Tree 65
Today for the First Time I Listen 67
Getting Out of Where We Came From 69
Learning to Swim 70
My Mother Makes Me a Geisha Girl 73
City Lives 75
Claim 78
Early Morning Window 81
Scared Hearts and Tar 84
Elements of Passion 87
Bewilder 89
Moving In and Moving Up 91
Diorama 94
Bridges 96
Prayer 99
For My Husband Sleeping Alone 101
When I Understood 103
The Sky Could Send You 105
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