An extraordinary first
collection. With precision and exquisite craftsmanship, the poems
chart the movement of a mind toward the point where thinking leaves
the ready groove
and strikes out into the unmapped.
As the author says: "The poems are all experiments with form:
all the dresses tried on. I
was trying to feel through words in contrast to having a feeling and
trying to describe it...
just like myself, these poems are wanting without knowing what they
want. They were my
trying to figure out what to believe and where to begin. I was trying
to stand, to understand
all the movements inside my own body. I think the poems were my first
what it means to be in relation."
Pam Rehm was born in Pennsylvania in 1967. She now lives in New York
City, with her
husband, the poet Lew Daly, and their two children. This was her first
book. Her second,
To Give It Up, was a National Poetry Series winner, selected by
Barbara Guest. Her most
recent publication is Gone to Earth (Flood Editions, 2001).
"...the singular brilliance of this poet. She makes each edge
of sound, of a word's
various meaning, articulate with impeccable art. Her insistent intelligence
is a great
light in the all too surrounding darkness."
"How fine, how original, humbling in the purity of its tone is
TO GIVE IT UP. And the
creative intensity in which her poems struggle until a calm descends
in which the spirit
--Barbara Guest (National Poetry Series award 1994)
"poetry devoted to discovery"
--Shelby Stephenson, Time Pilot
"A young woman came to discuss her poems. She said very little.
It was as if she were
clothed in an intense hesitancy, a serious shymess. Now ... come these
are wonderfully various in their address and in what they address.
hesitation has been
used 'to have something to give back,' shyness has been used as 'a
nerve into all
circumstances.' What Pam Rehm has given in these poems is worthy of
and serious attention."