by Alice Notley Book
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Somewhere between a prayer, a fable, and an evocation...   (2008-10-02)
Alice Notley has helped guide and challenge contemporary poetics for over thirty years. Her poems exist somewhere between a prayer, a fable, and an evocation. In the Pines continues with this; it is mythic, of-the-earth. Directly comparing In the Pines to other poetic work is difficult, but fans of Elizabeth Willis and Jack Spicer will be pleased with this collection for its lyricism and magic. Notley has created a triptych, an environment, wherein transformation is a constant. Protean and feminine in its narrative, we read of speakers shifting, flickering almost, from state to state, sometimes so fast not even they know what state they inhabit: "I'm turning into something I never foresaw. When I get there I'll recognize it." This collection never settles--it pulses from prose to verse, from concept to concrete thing-itself. In the Pines stalks, haunts, and sings.
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