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The Philodoxer
Thoughts on writing and publishing, and the various sources of entertainment...
A weekly column by Abel G. Peña, best known for his Star Wars work.

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THE PHILODOXER for 04/16/2006
Tracings: A Cogent Glimpse Into the Female Mind

Tracings

I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but I've always wanted to be. My disappointment with the poetry I've encountered has been significant. For a long time, the only published poetry that turned me on in any way was, predictably, Dante and Shakespeare, who "divide the world between them," as T.S. Eliot said. Time has since allowed me to discover Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, John Donne, and Eliot, and acclimated me to others, such as Walt Whitman and Bashō.

I'll add another name to the list of poets that have impressed me. I recently picked up the poetry collection Tracings, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and I was thrown for a loop. I was already familiar with Howard-Johnson's excellent nonfiction resources, chiefly The Frugal Book Promoter, though her success in that discipline actually made me skeptical about how good her literary work would turn out. But this fear was ultimately unfounded. Howard-Johnson has crafted her poetry with a confidence that is singly seductive, a considerable accomplishment given that the subject matter to which she gives form isn't often inherently sensual -- she makes it so. Among her knockout punches are the metamorphic "An Apparition," the quietly painful "Recognizing Denial," and the chagrined eros of "Raised in God's Country."

Tracings is a small marvel. The voice is that of an uninhibited, older woman who remains patently a woman, inquiring freely of the beauties supplied her in a lifetime.

Bottom line: if you're a chick, you'll love this book, and if you're a guy, here's a rare, wide-open invitation into the female mind. I suggest you sneak a peek.

Adios folks! See you next week!

-- Abel

<< 04/09/2006 | 04/16/2006 | 04/23/2006 >>

Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum and at Pop Culture Bored.
Also, visit my website at www.abelgpena.com.


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