Cover image for Cornucopia : new and selected poems, 1975-2002
Title:
Cornucopia : new and selected poems, 1975-2002
Author:
Peacock, Molly, 1947-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, 2002.
Physical Description:
250 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393051230
Format :
Book

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PS3566.E15 C67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

IN POEMS HUMOROUS and daring, forthright and wise, Molly Peacock returns in this collection to the landscape of North American poetry she has helped create--the investigation of love in all its manifestations. In the new poems, she takes us to the Land of the Shi, a world reached not by going but by staying.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

There's a delicious tang to Peacock's vital poems--a taste of earth, salty and laced with iron, a headiness like that carried by the breeze just before a spring rain. This electric juiciness is just as pungent in poems from 27 years ago as it is in the suite of new poems. The older poems in this volume have appeared in four previous collections of her work, including Raw Heaven (1984) and Original Love (1995). Wielding bright metaphors and adeptly combining story and lyricism, Peacock makes the annealing of the self in the furnace of family and the fever of erotic love her signature theme. Her insouciant wit deflects a brooding soul in surprising and gratifyingly lucid poems that mesh a rich physicality with arresting emotional precision. In her newest work, Peacock interprets her vision of "The Land of Shi," a fugitive Celtic realm that manifests itself whenever "the air suddenly intensifies, and you are in another world," an elegant description of the magic of poetry and a place Peacock carries readers to in style. --Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Peacock won admiration, and notoriety, in the 1980s for combining traditional rhyming forms, reader-friendly narrative interest and explicit sexual content. Raw Heaven (1984), her second book, introduced her signature devices: in it, she used skillful pentameters (in blank verse, quatrains, sonnets and other rhyming schemes) to examine, seriously and with patience, "lovers saying, let's-take-off-our-clothes," masturbation ("she lets one hand re-pin the labia/ to free the other to wander"), "the smoky smell of menses" and "time's experienced part-/ fit-into-part." Subsequent work expanded her repertoire (rondeaux, terza rima, alphabetical forms) and kept her interest in love, sex and domestic experience on low boil. "Why would an orgasm make someone weep?" one brief poem asks. "Have you ever faked an orgasm?" another inquires. At the same time, the later books widened her range to include a traumatic childhood (1989's Take Heart), a range of long-term friendships, and the vicissitudes of marriage (1995's Original Love). They also opened up Peacock's gift for quips: "Luxury is in the ordinary"; "Ours is the miracle: we're here." This volume offers a generous sampling from those three books for people who missed them the first time; nibbles and bits from her first book, And Live Apart (1980); and new poems that show Peacock trying to expand her technique toward long, halting, self-conscious free-verse sentences, and to more challenging, promising, dreamlike fragments, "a practice of words-in-blood." (Aug.) Forecast: Peacock's poems of the 1980s may seem less original now than they did then; verse celebrations of women's sexuality are no longer uncommon, and the New Formalist movement has lost the oppositional energy it once had. On the other hand, Peacock, president emeritus of the Poetry Society of America, remains very much a presence in magazines, and the poems' storytelling powers are as good as ever: look for this book to be in prize contention. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved