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Bindweed Paperback – 1986

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bindweed, winner of this year's Walt Whitman Award for a first book of poetry, was judged by Anthony Hecht, and it is easy to see how Balk, a native of Fairbanks, Alaska, bested the field of 1000 submissions for the prize. Balk proves observant, eloquent and evocative in lyric as well as narrative forms, balancing her themes of death and discovery with such delicacy as to remind us that the first entails the latter and vice versa. The "Young Widow" sequence in particular is reminiscent of Poe's claim that the highest subject for poetry is the death of a beautiful and beloved young woman. Set against the harsh landscapes of the north, these elegaic poems are tender and haunting. They convey in quiet ways the full human experience of incomprehensible and unconsolable grief.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Bindweed was chosen by Anthony Hecht as the 1985 winner of the Walt Whitman Award. These 24 poems, set mostly in the natural world, seem all cool surfaces; but the tension between what is and isn't said is almost palpable. Balk's best poems are like rooms "draped" by silence, where even the slightest sounds reverberate with what's absent. Elegaic in tone, her verse is about what's missing, about loss: "His absence is a gouge in the snow/ Scooped between the spruce trees." Anguish is counterbalanced by Balk's remarkable attention to detail, precise diction, and restraint: "He pulls you out/ and yanks out your bones. One by one, he hollows/ each bone out, whittling the longest one/ into a flute. He presses his mouth against you." Highly recommended. Robert Hudzik, P.L. of Cincinnati & Hamilton Cty.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Company; 1st edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020712200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020712206
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,791,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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