- Series: Barnard Women Poets Prize
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (April 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393086437
- ISBN-13: 978-0393086430
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Our Lady of the Ruins: Poems (Barnard Women Poets Prize) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Traci Brimhall’s first book, Rookery, was a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. A doctoral student at Western Michigan University, she lives in Kalamazoo.
Top customer reviews
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with a pilgrimage of women into and through a world destroyed.
Yet the spirit of the speakers of these poems is both spiritual and
devoted to life and the power of human love.
So with that, why only four stars? Two reasons, one general, one more specific. In general, I reserve five star rankings for poetry books which I'd consider great classics. It takes a certain amount of perspective to make that judgement, so I hesitate to put a very recent book by a young poet in that category. And more specifically, I perceived in most of these poems, despite the brilliance of their language, a lack of formal (I don't just mean externally formal, but emotionally and psychologically formal) unity of statement which makes that poem into a story (not meaning a narrative necessarily) uniquely of its own, different from the story told by any other poem, even ones written in the same poetic language. A reflection of this is that when I finished the book there remained in my mind a number of images and phrases which will stick with me, but I couldn't remember which particular poems they came from. If a poem has the type of unity I've described, then recalling any part of it will recall the whole. I also found that the verse was not totally free of standard creative writing workshop gimmicks, like beginning the first line with a mysterious pronoun ['We ...etc. etc.], as a ploy to pique the reader's interest: 'Uh, who's we?' This always seems to me too obvious a strategy. And there's the occasional use of blank space within lines for pause or emphasis. This type of poetry doesn't need that stuff. And also, though this admittedly is a personal preference, I didn't think the two experiments in non-standard poetic format -- one putting a running prose-poem commentary footnote-like beneath the verse stanzas, and another putting a similar commentary in italics in the margins -- were successful. Not that there was anything wrong with the poetry, but the format seemed to me just to distract. But then unlike a lot of people, I always feel that the real poem is what is spoken aloud, and you can't speak things like that aloud.
I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary poetry, and especially to readers who have been wishing they could find contemporary poetry with some blood and incense in it. They won't be disappointed here.