Strange Life

Poetry - General
90 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2014
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Author Biography

Eleanor Lerman is the author of six books of poetry, Armed Love, Wesleyan University Press, 1973; Come the Sweet By and By, University of Massachusetts Press, 1975; The Mystery of Meteors; Sarabande Books 2001; Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds, Sarabande Books 2005, The Sensual World Re-emerges, Sarabande Books 2010, and Strange Life, Mayapple Press, 2014. She has also authored two collections of short stories, Observers and Other Stories, Artemis Press 2002, and The Blonde on the Train, Mayapple Press, 2009. Her first novel, Janet Planet, was published by Mayapple in 2011. She has been nominated for a National Book Award, received grants from the Puffin Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts and won the 2006 Lenore Marshall Prize for the year’s best book for poetry for Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds. In 2011, she was named a Guggenheim Fellow.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Strange Life by Eleanor Lerman is a collection of poems that speaks to readers on many levels. They are direct and honest and they take us through a journey of myriad emotions that dominate life and living in general. The simplicity and symmetry in her poems reflect the power and purity of emotions and highlights the central thought of living. Her artful play with words has given movement to all the poems in this collection. The many dimensions in the poems will make readers peruse it multiple times. All the poems are thought provoking and beautifully penned. The poems gives readers a glimpse of the poet's thoughts and emotions and her perspective on life.

The poems cover diverse topics and the poet raises a lot of questions through her observation on these topics, leaving readers to ponder thereon. The unique interpretations and the complications of life run through the poems. The rich verses are fluid and well constructed and the choice of phrasings in the poems like:

'and the sunlight in the yard,
and your life, your life,
still as inexplicable as every hour that it lasted,
breathing in and out with the windy landscape,
trying, at last, to hold its ground'

make it a delightful collection. The consistency and placement of words add color, and the balancing of the words add effect to the poems. I enjoyed the beautiful imagery, metaphysical themes, horoscopes, Greek mythological figures, and topics related to time that make it a collection to be enjoyed by all types of readers.