Celebratory or eligiac, these poems record the author’s “two-headed journey” to root herself – geographically and emotionally – in the world. Becker’s poems are from remote and familiar outposts: the watery evanescence of Venice contrasts with the desert of the American Southwest; we lean with her over the rim of a canyon or stand back to study a Giacometti sculpture. From such settings arise poems on the death of a sibling, the consoling power of painting and sculpture; others celebrate the erotic and the capacity of the female body for pleasure and pain.
The poet-speaker is unsparing in her self-appraisals, and this fine toughmindedness gives the work its gutsiness and edge.
These poems rage with such imaginative energy, you can't wait to read them again and again, feeling an aastonished pleasure in both their accomplishment and their humanity.
These books offer 'a poetry that asks as much as it tells, and we are enlarged by the asking.'
These poems are thoroughly sensuous — a quality of voice that allows for tragedy and the sublime to exist at once — and often with two or three arranged serially in a particular location.
Robin Becker received the Lambda Award in Poetry for All-American Girl and has held fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard. Her books include Tiger Heron, Domain of Perfect Affection, The Horse Fair, and GiacomettiÕs Dog. Professor Emeritus of English and WomenÕs Studies at Penn State, Becker serves as poetry and contributing editor for the WomenÕs Review of Books.