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by Cynthia Cruz
Reader, take heed: These are no ordinary poems about childhood. In a series of secular prayers, Cynthia Cruz alludes to a girlhood colored by abuse and a brother’s death. A beautifully understated sense of menace and damage pervades this vivid, nonlinear tale.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Alice James Books
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Ruin by Cynthia Cruz is a book I first requested through ILL last fall. After I'd read just the first few poems, I knew it was a book I needed to own. This second read through proved that buying the book was the right choice. After I'd read the book once, I turned to the back cover to learn more about Cruz and also happened to read the blurbs. Blurbs don't usually influence me to read a book, but these two really do capture the book well. "This is not a book about peacocks in twilight nor should ...more
These poems are quick, mysterious, and intense. The book does not constitute a series as such, but the poems are clearly of a piece. The best poems here fearlessly attack questions of grief, loss, and possible family secrets, the mind behind them alternately turning them over and over and trying to run away from the answers. However, they can seem a bit repetitive, and sometimes key images come back in ways that seem to muddle rather than illuminate what they might mean.
I don't have enough stars for this book. I read it in two brief sittings and now I want to shout it from the rooftops, but it's too cold out. A great example of a poetry that defies categorization: I dare you to label it. Actually, no, don't do it. The images are so visceral and "on" that the poems give the impression they were written in a trance, were the language not wrought with such precision and vision. A clear midnight torrent. Can't wait for her next.
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetr... The poem "Sparks, Nevada" sold me on this poet and this collection. There are narratives here that are incomplete, yet it's possible to follow the speakers. It's sort of like a dream where the scenes jump from one to another making an intuitive sort of sense.
Cynthia Cruz is the author of Ruin (Alice James Books) and the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and a Hodder Fellowship. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, The Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review and others. She lives in Brooklyn.More about Cynthia Cruz...