This first book, chosen by Stephen Dobyns for the Four Way Books Intro Series in Poetry, chronicles a Dantesque journey. Over the course of the poems, the poet/narrator poses variously as Charon, Virgil, and Dante -- visitor to the region where the dead and tormented lament. The quest here, too, is for a transformative love. In Domina's world, "Only the woman with the oars / is real and she is the only one / who recognizes the other figures / and sees through them;" thus only she is capable of re-imagining herself -- the others are all sentenced to eternal grief. These poems, mythic in their reach, are appropriately characterized by a shadowy sense of mystery and a persuasive tone of objectivity. The one shortcoming is an over-reliance on the word "grief," as if any single word can encompass all life's losses and disappointments. Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.
-- From The Boston Review
"Lynn Domina's ffirst book of poems has a number of striking virtues: authority of language, a wide variety of subjects and strategies, compelling emotional content, clarity without obviousness, diversity without diffuseness, mystery without vagueness. . .These are carefully crafted, deeply moving poems. They are a great pleasure to read." (Stephen Dobyns, judge)