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Myles, Eileen. Sorry, tree.

MYLES, Eileen. Sorry, tree. Wave Books. 84p. c2007. 978-1-933517-20-9. $14.00. SA

Myles's latest collection of poetry is successful because it showcases the irony, honesty, lyricism, and toughness that have made her, in Dennis Cooper's words, "one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature." In addition to being a professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego and the former Artistic Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project, Myles has written over a dozen books of poetry, prose, and plays. Hailed by The New York Times as an icon for the generation of "post-punk female writer performers," Myles crafts poems that are blunt and quirky. Take, for instance, her poem "Now": "There's something about / bad pens / that gives an air / of absolute insincerity / to everything--their caps off / 'n the caps laying / around too / like shitty disciples / to the mess." At the same time, however, Myles's poems retain an undeniable elegance and poeticism, which shows that in spite of her edginess, she is ever conscious of poetic tradition: "I know the niceness / of silence. Hugged / up & tossled by dog / bark, its boxing pushing / of the silent morning."

Openly gay and extremely political, Myles is not afraid to voice her opinion on the current political environment. Her poem "To Hell," for instance, is dripping with irony: "We're gonna make a constitutional amendment against em / for being gay. / Gay to hit buildings, to want to meet in great numbers, / being no one Love." Such forceful lines are testaments to the fact that Myles has a voice that wants to and will be heard, and the poems in Sorry, Tree fall upon you like revelations. Beth Lizardo, College Student, NY

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Author:Lizardo, Beth
Date:May 1, 2007
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