IMAGINE BEING MORE AFRAID OF FREEDOM THAN SLAVERY by Pamela Sneed

IMAGINE BEING MORE AFRAID OF FREEDOM THAN SLAVERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

paper 0-8050-5474-X The poetically inept and politically inane rantings of performance artist Sneed would escape notice but for mainstream publishing’s cravenly bringing her meager verse to the market and exploiting the anger and confusion of the self-styled revolutionary lesbian poet. Sneed’s first book proves that whatever may have been powerful as chanted on the stage is sloppy and facile on the page. Shamed by her suburban hang-ups, Sneed cultivates “a kick-ass spirit” and shouts out to all those—lovers, teachers, father—who “UNDERESTIMATED” her “POWER.” She identifies with “abused” kids, bemoans “shackling poverty” and “unfeministic jealousy.” Her political martyrology is a confusion of images from Harriet Tubman to the group rapists in Central Park. Years of therapy reveal that “psychotherapy is. . . a capitalist tool.” The poet’s confusion of politics and pathology leads eventually to the insight that “the real revolution/is changing myself.” Underneath it all runs a sad plea for acceptance of the love she offers, and, less appealingly, an amazing desire for literary prizes and big sales—which just might come to pass, as Sneed’s irresponsible publishers no doubt are gambling.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8050-5473-1
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998