ENTERING THE MARE by Katie Donovan


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The second book of poems by the young Irish journalist isn—t as full of bodily functions and sexy paganism as her first (Watermelon Man, 1993), and that’s a relief, though Donovan still personalizes her more political verse about hunger strikes (—Strike—), greed (—Hunger at Doolough—) and —toxic waste— (—Out of Her Clay—). Her body now —plodding,— the poet wants a lover to feel her absence (—Year On—), begins eating to fill the void left by another (—Sweet Woman—), and discovers the iciness of her lover’s heart (—Warm Hand, Cold Heart—). Something of a goddess-worshipping feminist, Donovan rages against breast implants (—Making Shapes—), harbors carnal thoughts for a celibate monk (—Report—), and celebrates the mythical woman who runs faster than horses (—Macha’s Curse—). Strong women include her great aunt (who would have been burned as a witch in New England); an ancestor who was part Iroquois (—Totem—); and St.Gobnait, the patron saint of masturbation, apparently (—Gobnait’s Shrine—). Donovan’s trite phrases (—two ripe melons— for breasts; —the big apple— for NYC) indicate her general inattention to detail’she sacrifices language for visceral appeal.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1998
ISBN: 1-85224-429-1
Page count: 80pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1998