- Paperback: 42 pages
- Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (June 21, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982876610
- ISBN-13: 978-0982876619
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,288,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Saint Monica 0th Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"It's a testimony to Biddinger's careful poetic crafting and deep understanding of the human psyche that what could start, for many, as an unwelcome trip, becomes a beautiful unfolding of empathy and compassion." --Melissa Studdard, The National Poetry Review
"If Girard was right, and all desire, mimetic or not, is at its root metaphysical ('all desire is a desire to be'), Monica's growing awareness of self amid a backdrop of indoctrination is indeed a feat of imagination on behalf of her author..." --Virginia Konchan, The Rumpus
From the Back Cover
Equally familiar and strange in her wonderment, Mary Biddinger's Saint Monica rises above the water towers and smokestacks of the midwest, a saint transfigured into a modern girl with a persistent craving for muscle cars and tattooed love boys. Yet this Saint Monica does more than want; her yearnings are feral, carnal, and unflinchingly honest. She does not ask for God to take her walls away so much as figure out how to kick them down herself. The result: her escape route is illuminated by a slender and elegant beam of longing and melancholy in poems that make clear the clandestine nature of what we desire most.
--Steve Kistulentz, author of The Luckless Age and Little Black Daydream
Mary Biddinger evokes the patron saint of female abuse victims in narrating the adolescence of a latter day Saint Monica. Ironic humor illuminates the poems, as in "Saint Monica Stays the Course," a hilarious catechism of teeth-gritting endurance. Biddinger crisply narrates these memorable tales that entwine horror and sensual discovery, using deft rhythms, head-snapping line breaks, and highly original imagery.
--Rachel Dacus, author of Femme au Chapeau and Earth Lessons
Top customer reviews
I'm writing this early in 2012, so I can say it with confidence: <em>Saint Monica</em> was the single best book I read in 2011 (final count: 272, with this being the third of those books to get five stars), not only living up to but surpassing the promise of <em>Prairie Fever</em>. From first page ("The owls would like to unwrap//her, as owls do, always looking/for the next loose shutter, the goldfinch/bathing in a pile of spilled parmesan//in the convenience store parking lot.") to last ("They lived in Michigan,//where nothing ever changed. But when/would the pint glass shatter in her hand,/just like the woman on the screen, limp/ponytail snaking around her shoulders?"), this is poetry that tries, and not once fails, to surprise and delight with unexpected imagery, spot-on word choice, and a gaze that never leaves the bigger picture even when it's focused on the smallest image. I quoted that goldfinch image on facebook right after I read it, saying "I had to remember how to breathe." There's a great deal of that to be found in this book, which should be on the shelf of not only every reader of poetry, but every reader period. *****
With a matrix such as this to draw upon, Mary Biddinger speaks from her background in Ohio with a distinct Midwestern voice as she recreates 'little Monicas' who enter the world of adult transgressions and yearnings and fears and at times impudent participation in her own slightly disdainful refusal to accept limitations. She speaks with a voice at all times honest in its appealing nature and introduces us to certain important friends who represent her exploration of forbidden desires: she never loses sight of the humor that may be evident or occult in the diary-like life of a girl who is living in that most treasurable region of Americana.
SAINT MONICA GIVES IT UP
The say chastity is a gift,
like an extra thumb.
But they have never seen
Kevin McMillan bare
to the waist in an apple tree
as Monica did
one Wednesday afternoon
before dance class.
The bun in her hair nearly
All the birds around her
dipped to the ground
in search of stray fire ants.
Still, she clung
to her Saint Christopher
medal, taped up
more kitten posters in her
pounded the bread dough
a little bit harder.
Twenty years later now
and she still sees
him: grinding cross-sections
of a fallen oak, or
staggering across a field to her
on pink moments
before the alarm clock's blare.
Biddenger's poems vary in layout from the usual poetic form as above to those that fill equally justified pages that read like a short story. But always there is a brilliance of idea matched by a grasp of radiant language that makes us smile, remember, and re-live moments like Saint Monica experiences. Biddinger is a poet of people. You will never forget her gifts after stepping inside SAINT MONICA. Grady Harp, July 11
Biddinger has effectively laced verse together with a lining of Catholic culture. It's edgy, rough and tumble and fun. Monica is knee high socks, prefect pleats, immaculate white blouse and she has standards. She would never go to the Devil's Place over shoplifting Raisinets, but an afternoon swim with Kevin McMillan in a pond...
Biddinger has dedicated Saint Monica to all the girls with names that begin with M but it should resonate with anyone who knows a Catholic girl with a name that starts with M and that's as universal as the Church itself.