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March and Mad Women, Poems by Linda Aldrich

The poems of March and Mad Women by Linda Aldrich move gracefully between narrative memory and lyric encounters, weaving themes from the past and present into an intricate whole.

Sample Poems by Linda Aldrich

 “Linda Aldrich explores movingly ‘that flawed space,’ to borrow a phrase from Eavan Boland, that can come between the words ‘woman’ and ‘poet.’ The poems in March and Mad Women confront and honor, marvel and puzzle over the ways of women leading ordinary lives. ‘I do the things I need to do,’ says the speaker in the collection's opening poem; the things that, throughout these poems, need doing range from stoking the fire to teaching composition to keeping vigil over the dying, watching friends ‘waning to slivers of moon,’ falling in love, welcoming ‘the heart's repletion.’ When I came to the description of just-baked bread loaves arranged on the counter ‘like Conestoga wagons / without wheels, going nowhere,’ when I felt the exquisite sadness and beauty of their lingering there amid Linda Aldrich's lovely and intelligent poems, I wanted and needed nothing else.”—Nancy Eimers
“This collection adheres like the layered movement of surf, offering all at once the deep and sometimes scarcely palpable undertow of grief from the loss of a mother, the tidal rhythms of weather and the natural world, and poems that spin away from these themes to touch upon bits of others’ lives, other layers of the speaker’s life, other forms and other voices; these poems ripple through the collection like the small, self-contained waves that add light and variation to water’s surface. To sit with this book is to relax into the turbulent and ultimately soothing flow of a deeply observed life—one rendered with a fine combination of restraint and generosity.” —Leslie Ullman
“From the lift of the first poem’s amaryllis image to the last poem’s several birds—whose distinct ways of being illuminate worlds—the vision that informs March and Mad Women deepens, broadens, and sharpens. The last line of ‘Seeing Red’ claims ‘The immensity of my bloom will carry me.’ Delight lies in entering and sensing how each poem unfolds and sustains that bold assertion. In these poems of life, love, loss, language, and world, the poet delves, pierces, confesses, occasionally laughs, and takes her stance. … Precise observation and image anchor and launch these poems. In ‘Chickering Bog, East Montpelier,’ the bog is a ‘quaking soft spot on the earth’s skull.’ But the poem opens into another spaciousness as it speaks of ‘that part of me willed to nothing.’ The poet’s voice is passionate, musical, particular, and, finally, fearless. By the time the reader encounters the line ‘I am ready now to take my place’ (‘Pantoum to Heal’), the poems and the poet are already rooted deep in the reader’s imagination.” —Veronica Patterson

Linda Aldrich grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire, Florida State University (MA Theatre Arts), and Vermont College (MFA Creative Writing/Poetry). She was director of the Young Conservatory and a member of the repertory at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and later was Associate Professor of English and Humanities at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado. Her poetry chapbook, Foothold, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

ISBN: 978-1936370863, 88 pages

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