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Loveroot: Hardcover – May 1, 1975
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She writes of nature -- one poem even being an elegy to a beluga whale she read about that died while in captivity at Coney Island in 1974.
She also examines relationships (as poets often do) -- mother-daughter / familial / romantic. The romantic themes do sometimes verge on the highly sexual. She also gets into just the general experience of being a woman. If you're squeamish, I warn you now -- there are multiple references to the menstrual cycle, noticeable enough that even I got to where even I as a woman was like OKAAAY now, next topic LOL
Some of the poems had really lovely lines in them while others I just found more on the meh side. Either way, there was something to Jong's writing that I did like so, having now sampled some of her poetry, I am curious to see how some of her novels compare.
A few of my favorite snippets from this collection:
"Exhiles" : "Birth is the start of loneliness, and loneliness is the start of poetry: that seems a crude reduction of it all, but truth is often crude."
"Letter To Myselves": "You can be hurt because you care too much, because your ribs swing out like shutters & your heart glows like a night light."
"You Whom I Hoped To Reach By Writing": "My strange vocation is to be paid for my nightmares."
"Chant For An Ambivalent Lady At Implantation" (the clunky titles poets come up with sometimes!): "All his hands on your body cascading, all his hands of water making water music on your marble breasts"
"Spring X 2": "I lay down with you in imagination and ran away from you in life / The whole park was pink & green & we rode in a yellow taxi drenched with rain & my glasses were fogged with spring rain & wanting you till I ran away."
Some of the poems also address Jong's poetic predecessor's, such as Pablo Neruda, Colette, and Mary Shelley, and these little poems may probably cause you to re-evaluate the original authors in light of Jong's unique viewpoint. Sometimes scathing realism. Graphic language.
And yes she writes of sex and the sensual but what harm is that we only exist because of sex.