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Blue Lash: Poems
In Blue Lash, James Armstrong explores the way a physical place can be alchemically transformed into mental geographies. The world of Lake Superior comes alive and expands outward in these poems: cicadas "grind their teeth/under the blue roof of August"; a quartz pebble becomes "little knuckle/petrified egg/white as a wave-cap"; a Jet Ski "revs past the dock/like a demon o ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published March 13th 2006 by Milkweed Editions
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Most probably this is really a 4 star book, it's just that I'm not that into poetry. This is a book of poems about the Great Lakes. My favorites included a poem he wrote for his daughter about how surprised he was that she became so very interested in the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, and how they had a "shipwreck" birthday party for her when she turned eight years old, and another poem about the women who visited Isle Royale in 1904. But the one that most caught my imagination was called "Olig ...more
Having grown up on Lake Superior, I was captivated by Armstrong's ability to pull such character and depth from a place that I quite frankly was bored by when I was a kid. However, after reading this collection I can honestly say my perspective of The Lake has changed, and now when I go visit on occasion, I sometimes find myself internally reciting a line here and there - as though Armstrong had given The Lake a new voice in my mind. I would recommend this, but I can't say it's bound to satisfy.