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Eric McHenryNorthrop's poems recall early photographs where the shutter was left open until the scene had burned itself onto the paper. Her images acquire definition word by carefully weighed word.
—The New York Times
Posted March 24, 2010
This collection of poems, frequently fey and otherworldly, contains a great deal to admire. Kate Northrop is clearly capable of technical bravura but it is, perhaps, what is not explicitly said that stays longest with the reader. In the second portion of a suite entitled "Three Women," the narrator states that "Wherever I go, I bring evening. / I am the sorrow of flowers that open at twilight," and a crepuscular light, laden with the preternatural, invests many of the poems in this startling collection. Some of the strongest verse in this book, including "The Lost Wife," which concludes the aforementioned cycle, suggests a poetic skill largely unrivaled among contemporary writers. Northrop's virtuosity is also on prominent display in "The Film," which captures a simple moment impregnated with anticipatory bliss. She deploys rhyme and meter here with uncanny dexterity. It is difficult to cite clear influences, although Wallace Stevens comes to mind, particularly in the poem "View of the Farm," which mirrors the dichotomy between reality and imagination that is rife in the work of that poet. Throughout this collection, diction is luminous and evocative. The poems flow like the rivering streams to which they sometimes refer. Overall, this is a very satisfying collection by a poet richly endowed with the gift of her craft.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.