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  • By bill harris
    Aug 31, 2014
    "And in my story there will be lights and bells" Lynette was a long-lost friend. We dated some in the early seventies, and in the summer she visited me in Europe. She wisely drifted away--being far more kind and sensible than I-- and wound up teaching English in California. During our time together, she wrote beautiful poetry. Some was personal, but the best showed a deep melancholic insight, even when written in flawless villanelle: "I thought the day had crawled inside the room/ as something killed the naked light that noon". She loved Bob Dylan; I told her, sincerely, that hers was better. Since around 1975, then, would I occasionally peruse the poetry journals for 'Doyle-Betty'--alas, finding only Graham, Vendler, and Sikelianos among the modern, great, voices of female gender. So where had this enormous talent gone? Lynette only began to write again after she was diagnosed for cancer in 2003. For five years she labored on this small, remarkable tome, until her... More > passing in 2008. Her last line reflected an optimism for life that was not present in her earlier poetry: "And in my story there will be lights and bells". As suggested by the title, her poetry seizes the modernist moment. If poetry is defined by asking, 'what can words do?', then her answer is, 'To purify the language, in order that the sweetness of life might interject itself between the words.' The citation is from 'Ode', which begins with an astonishing epigram, "My children speak a language I once knew/ forgotten/In the mothering/yet through them / it comes back now". Observe how the hard alliteration of 'knew' and 'now' bracket the three interior lines. Notice how she begins with a classic iambic pentameter, then breaks it apart with 'forgotten', only to resolve, again with an iamb. This is a talent that could have done far more, had she chosen. In brief, she's left us with thirty-two miniature masterpieces. I therefore urge her sons to place her work back into print, and fully available. Perhaps, in searching through her old papers, they might find the poetry of her youth; in vain I've searched for my copies. Finally, the glory of Lynette's work derives from her having become younger in spirit with age, even in terminal illness. This, clearly, was a being who refused to go gently into any night. More than anything else, then, she has written a book of life. BH< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Susan Tucker
November 17, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.38 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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