THE TWELVE-SPOKED WHEEL FLASHING by Marge Piercy

THE TWELVE-SPOKED WHEEL FLASHING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Marge Piercy writes too often in the first person singular, but her ""I""-eye is sometimes sharp. Thus: ""I have tried to forge my life whole,/ round, integral as the earth spinning"" tempts the response--Haven't we all, Sister?--but the poem continues: ""I have tried to bet my values,/ poker played with a tarot deck,"" which does have a certain wry concreteness to it. Her femaleness is sometimes saved by a sense of humor, the ability to get outside her own pain and consider it. This is well demonstrated in a poem called ""The root canal."" An icing of skin, a cave for tourists, a Russian basso profundo, an Oriental potentate gathering ministers, wives, his cabinet, his hunting cheetah, his favorite horse--all to be burned on his funeral pyre, concludes: ""I am nothing. . . but a grandiose talking headstone for my tooth."" And there are funny poems about the poet on circuit (Ms. Percy!), and the poet doing academic terms as poet-in-residence. Also she tells us how few her passions are, or should be: writing, gardening vegetables or roses, bird-searching, stirring soup, tasting wine on the tongue--and how often her lines of concentration are upset by lovers male and female. Her wit may save her in the end. Meantime, feminists and poets will like this book.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1978
Publisher: Knopf