- File Size: 4790 KB
- Print Length: 402 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (October 8, 2013)
- Publication Date: October 8, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00F9MXIOO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
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Becoming Light: Poems New and Selected Kindle Edition
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“A lyrical voice of eloquence and splendor. She can bring peace or wry laughter, shatter illusions or dispel loneliness.” —Los Angeles Times
“Erica Jong is a poet who owes nothing to anyone. Colloquial and seemingly casual, her poems run the widest gamut. Compounded of surprises, they are sly but penetrating, witty but passionate, bawdy and beautiful. It is a poetry to fall in love with.” —Louis Untermeyer
About the Author
Jong followed Isadora Wing through three more novels: How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes and Kisses, and Any Woman's Blues. In addition to continuing to produce poetry, Jong has written historical fiction, most recently Sappho's Leap, and two memoirs, Fear of Fifty and Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life.
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I have had this collection for about five years now, and still on a rainly afternoon, I will occasionnally pick it up and flip through it. Each time I do, I find something new, something honest, and something funny.
Unlike Slvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Jong is hunourous about the life and painful parts of being a woman. Her poetry reminds us that each person has their own secrets, but does not have to be ashamed and yes, you can laugh about it.
I love the way she references people, facts, and things we can relate to. In some ways, these poems are a series of essays about women, life, and the time it was written because it is a collection, you can also feel and see the changes of the times through it.
Sometimes Jong's work can seem sloppy if broken down under scrutiny, yet the essence of the poem is alway fresh and creative.
I highly recommend this collection.
Frequently she writes with too potent a quality to the "person". This--these--generally apply a kind of fertilizer to the sweet, new Vishnu in it. If there must be amends, then let us commend the speech, the change, in everybody. Like an iridescent opal, it describes our own story by the outstanding achievement derived from typical specifications. This new "voluntary" discrimination is ultimately nothing more than this left-over "person": A case in the road, the big digital form, argument and novel--all of it is injured by length. The exact placement is irrelevant. Solemnity models change. Intelligent commentary that attempts to expound something only fosters in the poems a natural atrocity about these laughable feelings in the other person--and these feelings, can they bend nearby, so that you are "You"?
Solemnity. Hmmm. The quality of recent time frequently continues *in* time, and forms the plural number exhibant of life itself (specifically, the switch method). Is it true, Is that what it really looks like, Is there no escape, etc., etc., etc. Ah, well. "Froehlichkeit vytyagivano" as the Greco-Russian poet once declaimed (or was he Russo-Greek?). Upward in the extreme with that dementia, then. Recovering that lustrous opal which pliably, sadly fills the upward center, affects the appearance. Various natural methods are essayed and discarded, despised by the Furchtgeck chapter. Pooling blood into the fluid, cooling weather, we publicly dispatch the only possible sweet release, so that we might hope to be accurate, to hit the mark. But, alas, poetry continues to be essential to The Cause.
Top international reviews
Jong's poems give an insight into the classical and existential literary subjects, like death, time passing, self-analysis, various addictions, but most of all love. It is the love for sex, creativity, poetry, literature, art, serenity; dogs; husbands, daughter – and Him. She is handling the matter of sex with the touch of freshness that is her distinctive feature: ”His cock sinks deep in my heart.” Her essential eroticism is a marriage between romantic emotion and stark naked sensuality.
Jong's outlook on life and the world, and the basis for her writing, is circling around Manhattan, an additional countryside home, regular Venice, Italy, First Class vacationing, and does not say much about the horizon beyond, if you are looking for an explicit social conscience and awareness.
Erica Jong is very well read. The genre you could call Poet on other poets, is a fruitful constellation that is abundantly represented in ”Becoming light”. If you are a bookworm there is plenty of -relevant- namedropping of her favorite writers to dwell on. Like all good poets, Jong has one feeler in the holy well of the Past and one in in the moment of Now. This sacred ambivalence of poetry, constitutes the personal history of the poet, as well as the history of the world and literature.
Many important writers pass by in a pregnant line or two: Jane Austen, Sara Teasdale, Sappho, Virginia Woolf, Thoreau, Borges – and, not least, lonely Emily. Some writers are granted complete poems, like Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Keats, Colette.
Jong's Muse, who is androgynous by nature, is invokating the greatness of Sylvia Plath in the heart-rending poem ”In Sylvia Plath Country”. This ”country” as described, brings to life the impression of Plath's poetry and its subsequent consequences for Plath's fate. How could a woman with a sound head like her, come to a suicidal end where she deserted her own two small children forever? This is the question many readers of Plath's poems are left with. Jong's answer is, that Sylvia Plath put her head in the oven because she had: ”lost the luxury of smile”. Was Sylvia Plath's final decision a choice between being a mother without a smile for her children, or to be a dead mother, smiling down on them from memory?
Plath's poems couldn't make herself stay alive, they became her bottomless ocean grave. In contrast to her fate you can think of so lonely Emily Dickinson, whose heart was partly pounding from, and for, her poetry. Poetry to Emily Dickinson was a condition of life, and life-sustaining.
What could be worse than lose your smile permanently? Could it be to have your smile premeditatedly murdered by someone?
Jong's poem ”To X (With Ephemeral Kisses)” is something of her version of ”Die Hard – with a Vengeance”. She demonstrates a technically very skilful metric form and style in this sonnet, that echoes of Shakespeare. So the Mr X she is anti-celebrating and telling off here, must be of greatness.
Classical and Shakespearian sonnets are 5-foot iambs in 14 lines. Jong gives Mr X her lecture in 18 lines. Is it because Shakespeare's most famous and love blooming sonnet is the 18th? Or is it because mysterious Mr X is connected to the number 8 in the mystical interpretation of numbers?
Shakespeare dedicated his sonnets to the mysterious ”Dark Lady”.
Mr X is characterized by having a: ”puny heart” and a: ”tepid soul” and he puts an honor in saying on his deathbed: ”I never cared for her at all.”. Jong's poem deals with what is ephemeral in life and what is lasting. You could say that Death is the lasting ”strumpet” in Life.
What does Mr X's heart have to say about his final words in this poem and their love story?
To conclude, this collection of poetry by Erica Jong has many poems of lasting beauty to linger on – and on.