New Review from Judith Ford

I loved In The Field. Sue's poetry is skillful, witty, and powerful. She blends her family history, her job as a food safety inspector, her long-term relationship with a man very different from herself, and her politics into poems that ring with truth and emotion without being preachy or sentimental. Her language is both common and rarified. You can tell she's worked carefully and long, selecting the right structures, the right syntax, to say precisely what she means to say. I have too many favorite lines in this book to mention them all but to name a couple: this from "Someone to Watch Over Me," referring to her father and the man she chose to marry- "But he was mild/marked by his limp, just/like my stiff-legged/ father--a doctor--/in his Saturday cardigan,/ he was always/trailed by three daughters/when he dreamed/of skill with tools/at Circle Lumber." Writing it here you don't see the intelligence of the structure, the enjambments and line breaks, the indentations, that lend rhythm and clarity to the stanza. You'll have to buy the book. And there's this- from "My Mother's Blasphemy:" "Sometimes as she drove to work--/to biopsies, smears/ and frozen sections,/my mother--a pathologist--/passed a ring-neck pheasant/that walked along/the edge of Kissena Park.//It was magnificent--in her words,/its proud posture lifted/the low common grass/and baseball diamonds. . . " Sue's language is vivid, concrete, witty and often wise. She juxtaposes real work --medicine, food safety inspection, activism-- with deep insight and with love. I'm hoping she'll gift us one day with another book as brilliant as this one. (less)
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Share on Twitter
Published on November 30, 2018 10:43 Tags: autobiographyofaninspector, judith-ford, review
No comments have been added yet.