Book Report: Tangled Vines edited by Lyn Lifshin (1992)

This book is a collection of poems about the mother/daughter relationship. So I read it at my son.

Honestly, I bought this book at the tail end of our trip to the St. Charles Book Fair this year, when the box of books I was buying grew heavy and from some rows over the lad grew ill-tempered. So I saw a book I thought was by Lyn Lifshin and threw it in the box because my beautiful wife likes her. Heather later pointed out that Lifshin only edited it, but I had it anyway.

So I read it.

After reading a pile of McKuen and the Sonnets of Eve, an anthology was nice. You know that if you don’t like a poem, you won’t have to suffer through another fifty or so just like it.

And I have to say, you chicks have some odd relationships with your mothers/daughters. The early poems are fraught with envy of the youth of the daughters, some serious dwellings on the pending sexuality, discord, and eventual understanding in the eulogy. I’m glad we males have simpler competitive relationships with only the desire to supplant/prevent supplantation on the throne of Olympus.

A quick enough collection, with enough good pieces, to be worth the time. It’s got its share of fluff, though, and some outright poor pieces with too much “I” in them to be good poems.

Books mentioned in this review: