CHARON'S DAUGHTER by Nancy Cummings de Foret


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This ""autobiographical progression in prose and verse"" (mostly verse) by e. e. cummings' daughter shows the dangers of strong stylistic influences. The major influences are her father's verbal/typographical fragmentation and syntactical inversions, and the lush, alliterative, jam-packed, clanging sonorities of G. M. Hopkins and Dyhn Thomas (""O golden bask-in-self this murmured rise of waiting set in sound/of future-finding, -fusing, fit of ownward openness around. . .""). Unfortunately, de Foret lacks the imaginative, imagistic, and lyrical gifts that saved those poets from their excesses--her verses make much ado about little, are almost empty of images, but burst at the seams with ""poetic"" elements, as if she's tried to create poetry by mere force of will. Only rarely (as in her portrait of an old Greek shepherd in ""earthquake, Aegina"") is real life allowed to dictate the tone and form of the poem, rather than being seen through the lens of the consciously, almost swooningly ""poetic."" The book includes eight hitherto unpublished e. e. cummings poems and 20 watercolors by the author, and is for cummings fanatics and lovers of ""glimmer-deafened gloom"" only.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1977
Publisher: Liveright