review by Doug Holder

This new Poetry Collection by the prolific Lyn Lifshin is divided into a number of sections including Autobiography, Love & Erotica, Family, Mothers and Daughters and Others.
Lyn Lifshin covers all the bases and covers them well. As always, the poet has vivid imagery at her command. In her poem LAKE CHAMPLAIN she evokes a sultry summer evening of her childhood.

You could hear Louis
Armstrong across
the black moon rippled
water when the wind
blew right. In the
dark, roses inched
up bleached wood

Lifshin captures the texture of her life as a young girl in Middlebury Vermont. The yearning to come out of her cocoon of ungainliness and emerge as a desirable young woman. She poignantly ends her poem, HEAT WAVE, MIDDLEBURY with

unlovely, unlovable as I
waited for transformation
for when things always wouldn’t
always be this way

In Lifshin’s LOVE and EROTICA section, the reader is enmeshed in her sexual flourishes, her beguiling mixture of lust, desire, and longing. She lets us feast on the blue eyes, the wavey manes and the hard bodies of her lovers, and taste the ashes, the dying embers of love affairs. In DISSOLVES she writes

we were like
drunks, dying
a little more
every time.
In bed we clutched

In an accessible fashion, the poet lyrically explores a full range of life experiences. She is not afraid to poke fun at herself and the absurdity of existence.

Doug Holder, November 18, 2000