Monday, April 09, 2012

Sandra Simonds' Mother Was a Tragic Girl

Mother Was a Tragic Girl
Sandra Simonds
March 6, 2012
Paperback, $15.95
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
ISBN: 978-1-88-0834-96-1
74 pgs.

Sandra Simonds so graciously sent this along.
First impressions:

My daughter saw it on the table, among a growing pile of books, and exclaimed: "Mom! Turn that book over! It's yucky!" Hey, she's seven. She just says whatever she thinks. The cover is a piece by Ivan Albright-Into the World There Came a Soul Named Ida-it's housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

I first came across Simonds' work in Poetry a few years ago-Landscape Made From Egg and Sperm, specifically-and became hooked because of the language (it's always the language or images). There was something else, too, as I read more of her work-a coarseness, a brash kind of  "yeah, I said it, so what" attitude.

The poems in the book are urgent, but not in the I-need-to-get-them-out-now! sort of way. More of I-have-so-much-to-say-and-I-don't-know-if-it'll-fit-on-just-one-page! type of thing. In other words: wordy and wandering, yet precise, somewhat contained, breathless. They are by no means "traditional," yet they have shape, they are real; they are rooted in real life.

Great titles-these made me say, YES, that's it- "Used White Wife", "DNA Woven From Lasers in the Jungle" ,"Solipsism as Maternal Instinct" , "You  Can't Build a Child" (in the current Poetry-April '12).

The book is divided into three parts: Beehive; Strays, A Love Story; Made From Scratch. Interesting note on Strays: A Love Story-it's composed of about twelve parts, some of those in acrostic form using lines from George Oppen and William Blake.

See more at:
Sandra Simonds' website
Mother Was a Tragic Girl

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