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Slaves to Do These Things Paperback – November 3, 2009
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Slaves to Do These Things
I only mention my own experiences as a poet here because I think that the idea of multiple levels of meaning and the resistance to creating poems that can be interpreted in only one, literal way must be one that Amy King has thought about a great deal. And her solution is one that many--particularly readers who favor tidy, well spelled-out, beginning-middle-end meditations on the vagaries of life--might consider extreme.
OK--it IS extreme. Readers of Ms. King's poems will find no easy answers and no respite, and it's obvious that that's just how she wants it. She is an uncompromising abstract painter with a palette of words, and she knows exactly what she's doing. There is not a single line in any of her poems about which one can say, "Ah, she's talking about...Read more ›
There is no defeatism here, no smallish voice sighing over disappointments , no staccato -cadenced anger replaying old wounds. Amy King comes through these poems not as a survivor nor someone inclined to obscure the bare facts of her life and the reading she brought with her, but rather a poet with a firm grip on the co-agitations of joy and subtler anguish.
The wonder is that there not a place one senses that they've come across someone who thinks it's time to address themselves in a disguised past tense; these are the wonderings, inspections, musings of some one too enthralled with the discussion underway to worry what the final word will be. What hasn't been said yet is nothing to worry about, but to anticipate as a hard-verbed , sexily ironic entree to what one doesn't already know.
King's verse is sharp, witty, moving in ways that are made powerful by the emotional nuance her line breaks contain; there is the sense that everything one knew is wrong, after all, and yet it stands as a reasonably reliable filter through which one may continue their negotiation with the metaphysically inclined whispers--the ghostly reminders objects, places, faces can awake and send a chill down your spine.Read more ›
of letters. Her latest collection of poems reveals why.
Mistress of a mythic surrealism that is laced at times with bawdy
language, Amy combines images like "moldy dark stools in back room
encounters" with "Michaelangelo turning crosshairs to sunshine."
Unusual juxtapositions like these compel the reader to turn the page,
discover more. Divided into five acts, this collection of poetry arcs
like a prize-winning drama, a volume that should be in everyone's
hands and on everyone's shelf!
--The Tower Journal