THE BLOOD THAT IS LANGUAGE by Louise Townsend Nicholl


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The author of these poems is a vice-President of the Poetry Society of America, a Fellow of the American Academy of Poets, and a member of the Craftsman Group. She has had seven volumes of poetry published, and won the Gold Medal of the Catholic Poetry Society of America in 1965. The poems in this collection have been printed in several magazines. Most of them are brief, twenty lines or less, and equally restrained in tone and language. The rhythms are measured and stately, the images muted, and the meanings often diffused into generalizations about nature, moods, love, etc. This delicate, reflective quality is attractive in single poems, but the overall lack of surprise and sharpness leave an oddly neutral impression, of a personality which uses language more as protective covering than as revelation. Still, this feminine restraint also springs from a professional skill and balance, and if the meanings are at times cloudy, the use of word sounds and near-rhymes produces a marvellously intricate, moody music, to be listened to, and read by ear not eye.

Publisher: John Day