That part of the house where neglected worn bric-a-brac is stored is certainly a proper title for this first volume of...

READ REVIEW

AN ATTIC OF IDEALS

That part of the house where neglected worn bric-a-brac is stored is certainly a proper title for this first volume of poetry from a poet whose definition of womanhood seems culled from the parts of Freud nobody but her pays attention to any more: ""For women are, after all, only space,"" ""I walk through her window/leaving no mark on this side of space,"" ""she dwindles into the Void of her sleeping pill,"" images of emptiness repeated too often to be ironical. Accepting men's metaphors for women, she also accepts their sociological definitions: women as nothing without men, trading their bodies for material comforts, a combination of self-hate and need: ""Isn't this the way we/ counter what we will not give, a game of poker-chip exchange -- an emerald for/ emotion. . . ."" Rather obsessed with old age homes and the lives of burn-out people who have nothing to do but wait for death -- which is perhaps another metaphor for the waiting lives of women -- Swenson's instincts are certainly on the right side, and her poems are filled with a careful quiet grace and a dazzling elegance of language. These are rather conventional poems by an excellent craftswoman, a mild pleasure to read, but is this what women need right now?

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1973