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Fire Lyric: Poems Paperback – July 25, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zarin's ( The Swordfish Tooth ) second collection extends the skill and promise of her first: with a voyaging delicacy, she visits surfaces and drops into vast centers without losing balance. An unusual aplomb is at play and at work here, almost regardless of Zarin's subject, occasion, or point of departure: an opossum in "The Opossum's Dream," a tender dream of transformation and a tour through nature; the ornately precise stanzas of "The Venetian Optician," reminiscent in their artfulness of the tricks, whorls and very conscious fantasy of Venetian glass; or the simple, humble "bruise that seemed to leave no mark" of the flowers named in "White Violets in South Hadley," a short lyric. Zarin demands and offers acuity of language, and her model would seem to be nature's, as seen in an ant hill, a grapevine, an Italian landscape, or a cormorant. But she takes the model and seems to purefy it, rendering her own version: "Scarf of moon fallen, fist / of ash, so white she's indiscreetly / virginal, the snow hare has turned her coat / too fast, and now on a swath of beat- / down grass is camped in her / absolutely non-camouflaging / briar house."
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Zarin is a poet for whom the world holds secret, often inscrutable messages--in "the dark italic hedge too small to read"; in the locker room where "a peculiar lather/ of the light turns the shower-/ heads to Chinese characters"; in a sock of the neighbor's child that turns up in her wash, "its L-shape this/ element's first word for love." Zarin's second book expands upon the knowledgeable wit of her first ( The Swordfish Tooth , Knopf, 1988). The influence of poets like Amy Clampitt ("The animosity of the inanimate doesn't/ accommodate") and Marianne Moore ("Long-lived, repository of memory; secretive,/ not outgoing; the turtle, knowledgeable of/ inner regions") underlines her sophisticated taste but makes some of these extremely competent poems sound elaborate and remote. A wise, breathtaking poem like "The Ant Hill," which has specific things to say about sisters, upper-middle-class domestic life, and the loneliness of childhood, demonstrates that Zarin is capable of much more.
- Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine, Law Lib., N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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