By Mary Kinzie
(Knopf, Paperback, 9780375709906, 96pp.)
Publication Date: February 22, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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"The world is touched and stands forth," writes Mary Kinzie in this book of seductive poetic experiment. In lines by turns fragmented and reflective, she shatters and reassembles such curiosities as an engraving by Albrecht Durer and the portrait of a notorious suicide whose children develop a secret telepathy. In one of her many powerful longer pieces, she collects glittering shards from myriad versions of the Cinderella story:
Was the young girl running
out of it because
--recall the blood
within the shoe?--
it hurt her?
Kinzie's verse moves mysteriously between folk-lore and urban devastation, between white magic and the concoction of mood drugs in the modern laboratory. In each poem, she draws our attention to the chinks of light in the dark narratives that surround us, in a language animated by her sympathy and deep moral intelligence.
Mary Kinzie is the author of A Poet’s Guide to Poetry and five earlier collections, including Summers of Vietnam, Autumn Eros, and Ghost Ship. She teaches in the creative writing program she founded two decades ago at Northwestern University.
“Each statement becomes a kind of victory . . . Kinzie engages her readers in a passionate dialectic proving that ‘it was/Right to live.’”
–Daniel L. Guillory, Library Journal
“The quiet but striking poems . . . span the page like spinal cords, or twists of DNA, each word dense and weighted with meaning, thrumming with pent-up power, a tamped-down fire that ignites slowly in the reader’s mind.”
–Dona Seaman, Booklist
“Drift adds luster to Kinzie’s reputation of fine craftsmanship in many styles and forms . . . her lyricism is elegant.”
–Charles Guenther, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Kinzie’s poems attain an expressive restraint, holding their meanings together line by line, one word at a time . . . [her] polish and rigorous observation are manifest.”
–Tom Devaney, Philadelphia Inquirer
“Plato would have been drawn to Mary Kinzie’s remarkable poems and to their vision of the human, assailed and deformed but still thinking . . . the poems themselves are a demonstration of the soul, of the permanent possibility of thought.”
–Martha Nussbaum, Poetry