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Brown, Fleda. The women who loved Elvis all their lives.

BROWN, Fleda. The women who loved Elvis all their lives. Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press. 66p. c2004.0-88748-403-4. SA

Obviously, this collection of poems is organized around the impact and influence of Elvis Presley. Each poem recounts biographical, musical, and cultural images of the phenomenon that was Elvis and sets them within snippets of the time period in which he lived. So along with the familiar details of Elvis and Priscilla, Elvis and his mother, Elvis and the Army, are references to Teflon, transistor radios, Ed Sullivan, Sputnik, the pill, Nixon, and the death of Princess Di. None of this follows a strict chronological ordering, but it begins with Elvis in the Sun Records studio and loosely follows through the details of his life from observers' perspectives. Featured prominently as the last section of the book is a tour of Graceland through the thoughts of fans as they tour the "Living Room," "Elvis's Bedroom," "Lisa Marie's Favorite Chair," "The Jungle Room," and "The Meditation Garden."

These are not poems about those rooms in Graceland or about Elvis's life as much as they are poems about the icon of Elvis Presley: voices recounting how Elvis was a part of their own lives whether through his music, his TV image or his physical presence. "Ho hum, I thought the songs / were for me" says one persona looking over the famed Trophy Room. The poems raise the issue of what popular culture says about what we value while they recount the images of a man rather than the man himself.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

Janis Flint-Ferguson, Assoc. Prof. of English, Gordon College, Wenham, MA
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:307
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