A WOMAN UNDER THE SURFACE
Princeton University Press Contemporary Poetry Series, 1982
 
 
Cool, cerebral, studied. Passionate, visceral, immediate....Alicia Ostriker is not only writing both kinds of poems, but many of the poems in this collection are cold and fiery at the same time; they burn with the intensity of dry ice. 

--Lynda Koolish, The Women's Review of Books

Ostriker reinvents the Eros/Psyche myth, a host of family spirits and struggles, the political understatement of news events from National Public Radio.

--Mary Lynn Broe, Prairie Schooner

Ostriker's fifth volume of verse shows her to be among the finest American poets....She knows how to create out of plain English speech lines whose rhythm and imagery glow from within.

--D.S. Earnshaw, World Literature Today

 

Willingly and warmly, Ostriker mixes it up with the human race--in "The Blood," for instance, a fine elegy for her old-fangled Jewish father, and in "Ceremony of the Bathtub," a portrait of husband and small son aslosh in soapsuds, comparing penises (as Dr. Spock says fathers and sons aren't wise to do.) Such poems stick with us, like friendly burrs....Acerbic wit, verve and energy insure that no page of Ostriker's collection is a bore.

--X.J. Kennedy, Poetry

 

Uniformly excellent....Not just a collection but an integral book, its four sections chart an emotional trip begining in bewilderment, moving through scorn and bitterness, to consideration of art as healing.

--Dabney Stuart, USA Today


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Poetry Selections:
The Exchange
A Minor Van Gogh (He Speaks)