Cover image for Carolina ghost woods : poems
Title:
Carolina ghost woods : poems
Author:
Jordan, Judy, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
59 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780807125557

9780807125564
Format :
Book

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PS3560.O729 C37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Wintry in tone, titles and topics--"Ice molds my life" as one poem puts it--Jordan's debut scours the wooded terrain for metaphors of death ("It's dirt and dust after all") and trolls her family history for murders, suicides, threats and promises of the end. The governing influence here is Charles Wright, whose learned, long-lined, colloquial mysticism speaks through lines like "The dead stow my name in the slack of their mouths," or "the dead have me in their pocket," yet places such possessions in specific situations, as "When Hitchhiking into West Virginia" or when stuck in "the all-night deli." The book's wanderings come as a result of mourning for a variety of figures: the poet's grandmother, other relatives, friends, neighbors violently dead. As poems answer each other and develop the theme, the dead become the poet's lost form and lost work--particularly the mother. When the speaker watches toads possessing "faith in their wholeness and desire," she knows what she lacks. Alliteration, internal rhyme and other resources of sound are on impressive display throughout the book, which won last year's Walt Whitman award from the Academy of American Poets, but the whole can't quite lift grief out the specific grievings.


Author Notes

Judy Jordan 's poems have appeared in Poetry, Crossroads, and other journals and will be included in the upcoming anthology American Poetry: Next Generation. She has been the recipient of a Henry Hoyns Fellowship, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and the first-place prize in the Western Humanities Review's Utah Writers Competition. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wintry in tone, titles and topics--"Ice molds my life" as one poem puts it--Jordan's debut scours the wooded terrain for metaphors of death ("It's dirt and dust after all") and trolls her family history for murders, suicides, threats and promises of the end. The governing influence here is Charles Wright, whose learned, long-lined, colloquial mysticism speaks through lines like "The dead stow my name in the slack of their mouths," or "the dead have me in their pocket," yet places such possessions in specific situations, as "When Hitchhiking into West Virginia" or when stuck in "the all-night deli." The book's wanderings come as a result of mourning for a variety of figures: the poet's grandmother, other relatives, friends, neighbors violently dead. As poems answer each other and develop the theme, the dead become the poet's lost form and lost work--particularly the mother. When the speaker watches toads possessing "faith in their wholeness and desire," she knows what she lacks. Alliteration, internal rhyme and other resources of sound are on impressive display throughout the book, which won last year's Walt Whitman award from the Academy of American Poets, but the whole can't quite lift grief out the specific grievings. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

It is hardly surprising that Jordan's Carolina Ghost Woods won the 1999 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and the National Book Critics Circle Award, for the energy in this book is palpable and the language so inventive and so surprising as to remind you what poetry is all about. The poet has taken a hard look at her life as a sharecropper's daughter in the Carolinas and delivered something bolder and richer than one could ever have imagined. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.