THE LOGIC OF OPPOSITES by Alane Rollings

THE LOGIC OF OPPOSITES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

paper 0-8101-5082-4 A Chicago-based poet, with three previous books to her credit, Rollings here relies on a clever organizing idea, which also creates a larger rhythm for the entire volume. Every two poems are linked as opposites, with helpful keywords providing a summary of each poem’s concept: —peace,— for example, pairs with —disorder,— or —less— with —more,—and —hell— with —heaven.— The overall result is far more subtle than it first appears, for Rollings contains a multitude of opposites throughout individual poems, and swings with a range of feelings and moods, from adoration and bliss to darker thoughts about human frailty and jungle violence. Rollings’s verse narratives weave abstractions with a wicked sense of history and cultural allusion. Travel also seems to inspire the strangest observations, whether in the restored and peaceful city of Savannah, or trekking through the rain forest, the African plains, or Fiji. Surreal and fantastical touches enhance her narratives of falling in love with a hitchhiker (—closeness—) and the spaces that develop between lovers (—distance—), as well as a splendid sequence in which —transience——the fluidity of time and space—confronts —permanence— in an unlikely place. —Spiraling Upward,— full of a science professor’s bold —imaginings,— links with the —truth— of —Forever After,— a cross-country train ride that ends with an affirmation of marital love. Not quite Blake’s great contraries, but a fine volume nonetheless.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8101-5081-6
Page count: 96pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998