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  • by Elizabeth Twiddy



    The electricity here has such an incandescence, it could be resurgent voltage from Emily Dickinson in distress. Even where the simplest language comes straight on, the cadence is the core of the effect. Twiddy's handling of inflection, in image and in sound, makes poems come alive. A wasp, a pidgeon, an opposum, any animal in these poems is the anima revealed, the soul, an apparition--maybe winged, but not because it is  transcendent: it is always the genuine psyche, frought with all the freight of flesh and mind. What haunts the whole book, in the surge and aftermath of eros, in the empathy for family and for strangers, and in jolts of recognition, and of being recognized, is an imagination deeply  and disturbingly alive, and tender to the touch."


    --Brooks Haxton



    In these severrerely attenuated  poems come urgent transmissions. These poems derive from the hidden and secret, take place on the verge of slience and make us lean in closer to listen.  Eliazbeth Twiddy prefers the small spaces: boxes, bedrooms, hospitals, brain and sex folds, eye and mouth holes. In the small spaces seismic movements happen that have the power to unsettle us as good poems do. And we are constantly rubbed by the animal: the sparrow, pidgeon, wasp, horse, peacock, moth, dog and those that are not qutie human and not quite other. What we hear in these poems is a noise both strange and subtle—fascinating, inexplicable, beautiful.‘”


    -– Bruce Smith


    One of the many strengths of thsi remarkable collection of poems is its capacity tio engage, move, amuse, delight and frighten all at the same time, often within the same poem. If intelligence is, in part, the ability to deal with ambiguity without losing any of the conflicting flavors of reality, these poems hae it in spades. They also have a playful dark humor that that pretends to make light of very serious themes by means of sometimes outrageous metaphors, extreme situations used to frame what is not being said directly, and an almost visionary surrealism that captures the reader's attention at once, and focuses it firmly.


    And finally, for a formal poet like me, there is a special joy in finding, among these excellent free verse poems, several others that surprise by using such forms as the haiku, pantoum, trioet, sestina, and rondel, not always with the decorous respect usually accorded them, but irreverently--and with a brazen kind of success."


    --Rina P. Espaillat

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