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What Feeds Us Paperback – October 15, 2006
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What Feeds Us is sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking. Diane Lockward's language is both plain-spoken and rich, lush. This is a wonderful book that might not nourish your body but certainly will nourish your heart.
In these sparkling poems, Diane Lockward takes life as it comes and finds nourishment in it all: succulence of the peach, redolence of the pear, the "green grape of sorrow." I love these poems for their craft, sensuality and energy. Like high-wire acts of language and imagination, they almost leap in the air and come down again on the wire, balancing between witty and dark, personal and invented, idea and emotion.
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I especially admire that way Diane handles deep sadness. She comes at her subjects from the side. In her poem, "The Gift", she is offering someone, presumably the father, a mechanical boy, seventeen, a new son.: "This boy can't get into trouble .../ He'll last forever./ This boy's durable./ This boy won't break.". In the poem, "The First Artichoke", the poem takes a sudden turn from description of a family gathering, to a conflation of the artichoke and the father's leaving, "Piece by piece the artichoke came apart, /the way we did in 1959, the year the flowerbuds/ of the artichokes in my father's garden bloomed/ without him".
And her gift for simile. In her poem "Verga", which is snow that melts before it hits the ground, she compares this phenomenon to "the heart grieving without tears./ Something like a hand frozen/ in a photograph,/ a hand forever waving/ goodbye".
What I like most in this collection is the wonderful mixture of joy and sorrow. There are poems that make us laugh like "The Shampoo Artist": A Really Dramatic Monologue", "For this hour, you're my Galatea./ Lean back while I lather you ..." and "The Tomato Envies the Peach". And there are poems that are tender and sensual like "Wren House" and "His Two Arms". After reading What Feeds Us, I felt full.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delightful trip through poems connected in a cleaver way to food.Published 17 months ago by Jack Coppley