Made in Detroit
A treasure trove of new poems by one of our most sought-after poets: poems that range from descriptions of the Detroit of her childhood to her current life on Cape Cod, from deep appreciations of the natural world to elegies for lost friends and relationships, from a vision of her Jewish heritage to a hard-hitting take on today’s political ironies.
In her trademark style, combining the sublime with the gritty, Marge Piercy describes the night she was born: “the sky burned red / over Detroit and sirens sharpened their knives. / The elms made tents of solace over grimy / streets and alley cats purred me to sleep.” She writes in graphic, unflinching language about the poor, banished now by politicians because they are no longer “real people like corporations.” There are elegies for her peer group of poets, gone now, whose work she cherishes but from whom she cannot help but want more. There are laments for the suicide of dolphins and for her beloved cats, as she remembers “exactly how I loved each.” She continues to celebrate Jewish holidays in compellingly original ways and sings praises of her marriage and the small pleasures of daily life.
This is a stunning collection that will please those who already know Marge Piercy’s work and offer a splendid introduction to it for those who don’t.
American Library Association Booklist, March 15, 2015:
A working class gal who grew up in Detroit in the wake of the Great Depression, Piercy begins her nineteenth poetry collection (matched by 17 novels) with an autobiographical sequence of electrifying braggadocio and deep pain. She declares that she was saved by books. “Libraries were my cathedrals, Librarians / my priests promising salvation.” Piercy also experienced transcendence in nature, eventually finding her true home on Cape Cod. Piercy writes sensitively of the glory of the sea, storms, the seasons, but always with a divining sense of the living world’s hard lessons. In jabbing and fleet-footed poems that swing from rapture to outrage, she describes a heron wrestling with a snake, salutes the mummichog, a scrappy little fish tolerant of climate change extremes and pollution, and shares a gardener’s knowledge of the change wrought by global warming. Writing poignantly of social injustice, Jewish holidays, marriage, and age, Piercy, frank, caustically witty, and caring generates suspense, drama, and arresting images such as when she envisions her many selves, embodied in all the clothes she’s ever worn, “strung on a blocklong clothesline.”
Made in Detroit
Poems / $27.95
Hardcover & ebook
Available: March 31, 2015