HARD WORDS, AND OTHER POEMS by Ursula K. Le Guin

HARD WORDS, AND OTHER POEMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like so many other prose writers, sf eminence Le Guin appears to regard verse as an opportunity to run amok--she abandons narrative, syntax, and punctuation for glib nursery rhymes and a mythopoeic beat: "sun dance/ stone dance/ bone dance/ one dance." Sometimes this can have the inadvertent appeal of the work of a talented child: "Let me go sideways sideways/ Let me go sideways shifty Lord/ there is doors Lord doors/ opening sideways." Or: "God's stomach/ rumbles like a drum/ when I jump on it/ when I dance on his chest he snores/when I dance on his gut he farts. . . ." Not all these poems are quite so boisterously runic; some quietly describe country walks, Celtic ruins--or moments of self-reflection: "At a quarter to fifth the clock struck/ Lost, lost in a sweet voice,/ Lost so many times/ that I lost count, and so believed,/ and came to live in the house of grief." Now and again, welcomely, the good writer prevails over the inept poet--but these occasions are too rare to redeem the volume as a whole.
Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
ISBN: 0060908483
Page count: 108pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1981




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