Human Nature explores, both seductively and horrificly, the redemptive possibilities found in an American girlhood gone wrong. Every one of Anderson's poems tells a story - dangerous, sensuous, sometimes crazy, sometimes sacred tales that take us into the heartbreaking reality and strangeness of a little girl who grew up the woman of the house; at once drink-maker, showpiece, secret-keeper, and object of lust. The terrain of incest and violence sets itself out on the page so subtely and plainly that the poems become mere containers for these extremes, a kind of prayer. Where formal grace might seem impossible, Anderson sings. And this is why the book - with all its darkness and danger - is, in the end, an affirmative one. The poems rise out of childhood's sorrows into a womanhood filled with the past, hell-bent on the future, and ready for a fight. In haunting, elegant verse, Anderson enters into the truth of experience. Through it all, the poems come to embrace those universal illuminations that arise out of--or even because of--suffering.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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