THE BRIEF HISTORY OF A DISREPUTABLE WOMAN by Jane Holland

THE BRIEF HISTORY OF A DISREPUTABLE WOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not many poets collect poems that have appeared previously in both TLS and Snooker Scene, but this former billiards champ demonstrates the same steely nerve that served her in pool halls. In this gritty and explicit volume, Holland sharpens her post-feminist edginess in verses that support the contention of her title: Without posing, she rages with her black tongue against lost innocence and love's disappointments, and admits her own failings (""Cheating""). Her Larkin-like antisentimentality, in poems such as ""Flaw"" and ""Not a Love Poem,"" cuts to the bone in short, tough, speedy lines. The title poem, a stunning narrative with its clacking rhymes, imagines the snooker table as a sexual battlefield, a potent metaphor she repeats in ""Blaize Queens,"" an Amazon call to her fellow female players. Holland's insatiable desires, recorded in verses ""tenser than an arrow in mid-flight,"" find few images of redemption beyond ""the coiled snake of the soul."" Virtuoso pieces, such as ""The Translator"" or ""Misreading the Classics,"" attest to her singular ability: In ""a voice original as sin,"" Holland debuts with an adrenalin rash of a book.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1998
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Bloodaxe--dist. by Dufour