Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review: The Guilt Gene

Title: The Guilt Gene--Poems
Author: Diana M. Raab
Genre: Poetry
Price: $ 10.76
Publisher: Plain View Press
ISBN: 9781935514398
Pages: 92
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed By: veinglory

Raab's poetry is grounded in mundane objects and specific events. Themes of childhood and motherhood are intermixed with poems about particular events such as mastectomy, traffic tickets and book signings.

The direct phrasing and anecdotal sources sometimes sinks into ambiguity such the poems opening with the line: "Days after we met at your father's nursery" or "Only a year after father found / the parakeet she wanted instead of a child".

The collection as a whole is quietly engrossing and I read it twice, with some pleasure. However I doubt it is a book I will return to often (if at all); in contrast to my well-thumbed copy of The Cavalier Poets or WS Merwin's The Vixen.

While it reaches for somewhat wider themes, The Guilt Gene is fundamentally a work of memoir. Thus, her poems are an interesting window into Raab's world, but do not penetrate deeply into mine.


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