PSYCHE: The Feminine Poetic Consciousness of Modern American Women Poets. An Anthology by Barbara & Carol Rainey -- Eds. Segnitz

PSYCHE: The Feminine Poetic Consciousness of Modern American Women Poets. An Anthology

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another predictable anthology of predictable American women -- poets from Emily Dickinson on up: Elinor Wylie, Marianne Moore, May Swenson, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich -- plus the necessary black (Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Mari Evans, whoever the latter is) and youthful ones (Marge Piercy, Erica Jong, Rochelle Owens, Diane Wakoski), plus a couple of people from left field who belong absolutely nowhere: Patricia Goedicke, Besmilr Brigham. These are the ""in"" poets of the Women's Liberation Movement, although the love poems too often disturbingly present the picture of woman as being man's empty hole: ""You are a missing scar on my arm./ A smoked cigarette/ an empty Gauloise Bleue package/ I am the silver/ paper/ lining/ it,"" from Ms. Wakoski's ""In Place of a Phone Call to Arabia."" Otherwise the poems go from Plath's hot to Owen's cool rage (""she calls me the divinity/ of mountains & streams &/ I think of how it would be/ to piss on her!"") to Moore's intellectualism to Swenson's verbal theatrics to Levertov's ""organic form"": black rage, women rage, Vietnam rage. A fine introduction relates these poets to each other and their predecessors; good, if somewhat obvious, choices are made; all in all this is a solid traditional anthology for those who enjoy the middle of the road: Diane di Prima, where are you?

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1973
Publisher: Dial