Publishers Weekly, 2003-10-06 Picking up where Helping the Dreamer: New and Selected Poems 1966-1988 left off, this second culling from Waldman's vast oeuvre includes excerpts from Waldman's acclaimed Fast-Speaking Woman, and arrives up-to-the-moment, covering the Florida election debacle, September 11, the 2003 war in Iraq, and the third and latest installation of Waldman's ongoing epic exploration into maleness, Iovis. If early work found her most engaged with the New York School, these later poems integrate her passions for Buddhism and ethnopoetics into a unique style of vocal, unabashedly current-event-laden, collagistic, wide-ranging work. Waldman's quest to find forms appropriate to her shamanistic, didactic content is particularly compelling in Marriage: A Sentence, with its liquefied gender roles and synthesis of influences ranging from Stein to Corso: "That's for sure for when you are married people people understand understand you do not have to answer answer a doorbell because sex sex may happen happen without delay delay. You will hear everything twice, through your ears & the ears of the other. Her or him as a case case may be be. He & he & she & she as a case case may be may be." However, it is Iovis, presented here in three consecutive parts, in which Waldman's verbal dynamism and focused political outrage begins, in Book I, as an exploration of male-centered psychology, and evolves into an inquiry into the discourse of war: "what is the sweetest war lore?// most terrible?// that of narration?// It's war crimes tribunal time." With an accompanying CD (not heard by PW), Waldman's untiring efforts to link language, ritual and political action come through clearly, urgently and often beautifully. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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