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Vinculum: Poems 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807137871
ISBN-10: 0807137871
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alice Friman is the author of four books of poetry, including Zoo and The Book of the Rotten Daughter. She is poet-in-residence at Georgia College & State University and professor emerita of English and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Leonardo was convincedsperm came down from the brainthrough a channel in the spine.So much for genius. I saysperm, like any seed, travels up,makes an explosion in the brainleaving a scent of crushed flowersin the memory. On such a trellistrue love might climb. On sucha shaky stair, many a bad applerotten to the core is persuadedto polish himself up before rising,sleek and feverish as a columnof mercury in a tube. Mona Lisawhose smile is older than the rocks,she knew. -- "Leonardo's Roses"

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807137871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807137871
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,706,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Alice Friman's fifth full-length collection is her best-wrought so far, and that's saying something. From "Inverted Fire" (her earliest book still in print) to "The Book of the Rotten Daughter" Friman's work has been notable, not only for the care lavished on individual poems, but also for the arc of their arrangement. That craftsmanship shapes "Vinculum" from beginning to end.

The overall definition for vinculum is "a bond or tie," and the title poem shows just how carefully Friman has rendered that meaning in metaphor, image and tone as she shares a "umbilical look" with her grown son. It is a harrowingly pure moment. "[T]hat look," she says, " must be what love is, / which is why we'll not speak of it nor hunt it down." However, she mythologizes that look in a close that is both poignant and powerful: "I want / to think that past Andromeda and out beyond // a million swirling disks of unnamed stars, that cord / we knew, that ghost of an eye-beam floating between us, // arcs in space, lit up like the George Washington Bridge / pulsing with traffic, even after both stanchions are gone."

Though Friman's new book is a summing-up of sorts, it's hardly a valedictory. Her ongoing concerns--art, love, myth, sex, relationships--are everywhere in evidence, as is the salty sass of her voice: "The red / slam-dunk of the hear" ("Waiting"); "Woo room, green vagina, / tube of love ("Ars Poetica in Green"). Trees have always been prominent in her work, so it's not surprising that they appear so often here. What is different, though, is their strategic placement. Four of "Vinculum's" five sections begin with poems set in Kentucky's Bernheim Forest; each is a meditation on mortality, myth, and art.
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Format: Paperback
I really admire Ms. Friman's courage to be expressive about her relationships and her complaints with them, if you will. Her wit and humour can be endearing. But make no mistake, Alice is a poet and not a comedian. She always seems to take the art of complaint to somewhere that really matters- to the heart, to longing or grief recollected (although not always in tranquility) as an authentic acceptance of life on its own terms.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, arrived fast, Just as described.
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By Ann Bennett on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy the topics and sentiments of Alice Friman's poems. I read a poem of hers in the Georgia Review and knew I would need to read more. I am a busy woman and find it hard to take time to read so I have to pick and choose. Alice Friman's poetry never disappoints.
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