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  • By Jacob M Reid
    Feb 13, 2017
    Kathleen Shay’s book of poetry is dripping at the pages with the bloody realism of living with factors we cannot ever hope to control. Her imagery - from the empty grounds of a college campus, to the skin of a gala apple, to the climactic episode of her abuser - at once reminds us of the ever changing dichotomy of how calm and violent life can be. The Supplanter is by no means an attempt to answer why these events happen or how to remedy the imbalance; it is rather a reflection of one human’s journey to live through struggling. Ms. Shay’s tone creates over and over again a thin sense of security which is then ripped apart by reality. Ms. Shay displays in the title poem the first image of lovers: “When your hands would then nourish me, caress, Steward,/ In subtle slights so Nick wouldn’t be the third wheel,” creating that sense of personal intimacy and amorous fantasy. Then, we are torn as she remembers the same lover hitting her with “royal flare in that sloppy blow” which then leads... More > her to spiral into the conclusion that she “was never a wheel, but a leech/ so why am I siphoned all but dry?” By the end of the poem, we are left to accept the shadows that overcome our frames in life with only the words, “never, never again” to console us. If it was the goal of Ms. Shay to make us uncomfortable by presenting the hard turmoils and unfair events of life, then she has done so with precise execution. Her book reminds us of the invisible burdens in not just our lives but in others’ lives. May her poems remind us to have patience and understanding for the plights we cannot see.< Less
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Product Details

Second Edition
July 4, 2016
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.54 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
Product ID
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