Publications by Keyword:

heart, speech, this

2009

Paperback, 152 pages

ISBN 0982530943

ISBN-13 9780982530948

There are stories within stories in this book, myths and memories and might-have-beens. Love stories, ruptures, alienations. Here is what the book came to be: seven series of poems exploring women of Greek myth, each series with its own poetic form and voice, interrupted and conversing with poems more contemporary, less narrative, in both traditional and nonce forms. These women, some goddesses, some mortal, some half-mortal, half-divine, are more often described than given voices in the myths. Although the myths explored are Greek with Roman additions, many of the poems evoke other parts of the globe. Persia, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Italy, England, Arizona, New Mexico, New York, Japan—the poems wander and tangle themselves in places and times of earth and sea and fire. Exile is as strong a theme of love fractured and made more than it was. “Scheherazade” opens “heart”, the first half of the book, with warring desires between words and sense—hunger, thirst, and affection grabbing for the space that wanted to be a story. And the story becomes the “fleet desire” of Diana chased by Actaeon, Orion, and the dogs with which they hunt. Diana is followed by Persephone, confused by her own violent responses to desire, and Persephone gives way to Psyche and the desperate, impossible work of rescuing the disappeared. Athena finds desire within herself and the development of strength in isolation, refusing just as her half-sister Diana to be caught. “Speech”, the book’s second half, goes deeper into ambiguous loss with the experiences of women at war—Leda’s rape, Penelope’s wait for Odysseus, Helen’s infidelity and return, Athena’s anger, Athena’s peace. They are women connected by blood as well as conflict, and my re-tellings of their myths imagine greater independence, justice questioned and applied, resolutions that sustain the impossibility of solutions. Gina Rae Foster is a poet, theorist, teacher, facilitator, filmmaker, and nonprofit administrator in New York City. She holds advanced degrees in both Theology and Creative Writing as well as certification in International Trauma Studies. She is completing her doctorate in Media & Communication through the European Graduate School.

Customer Reviews:

  • Beautiful and evocative poems

    Gina Rae Foster has created a masterful collection of poems tied together by seven women of Greek mythology. Much more than a collection of works, Foster has skillfully woven poems with individual voices that together form a large-scale work of art. I am reminded of the suites of JS Bach where an individual dance can be embraced individually, but where the whole produces something magical. While the stories of Greek figures like Diana, Penelope, and Athena ring familiar, Foster delves into explorations of what they might have said, thought, and felt. Foster also entwines references contemporary and locations global into the stories. While I have read _heart, speech, this_ in its entirety, I find myself returning to individual poems and stories, finding fresh, provocative observations in Foster's world of words. I fell in love with the character, Psyche, a few years ago through Manuel de Falla's beautiful setting for voice and chamber ensemble. Thanks to _heart, speech, this_, I feel I know and love her even more.
    source: Amazon, by user: A1LM6X2HHZP9CK
  • Lyrical exploration of love, sex, and loss

    There lies a furious journey in these poems and in this book. Traditional formal containers such as the sonnet and other more invisible formal constraints help the poet to explore the terrains in common between violence, alienation, vulnerability, and the conflation of sexual love and grief. The formality creates a firm container for volatility and what is often an explosive kind of music. Utilizing archetypal Greek myth figures, the poems both order and then unravel (much in keeping with Penelope) the reoccurring themes of the book, offering the chance for the reader to come back and reconsider images and ideas proposed earlier in a new context. Additionally, the voice shuttles intriguingly between observational narrative, vulnerable confession, and a kind of detached divination that is much in keeping with the concerns and personas of the book.

    I highly enjoyed this lyrical, lovely, serious work.
    source: Amazon, by user: A1V36BQ2LQF3O1
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