of the Academy of American Poetry
||The Imaginary Lover is filled with delicious surprises--poetry
that is terse and expansive by turns, oblique, audacious, beautifully crafted.
A thorough delight.
--Joyce Carol Oates
|Ostriker refuses to draw a firm line between heaven and
hell, body and spirit; indeed, her poems attempt throughout to erase that
line. In the body the spirit is made possible even if in the body, alas!
the spirit is also made impossible. Lines, definitions, categories are
open to Ostriker's transgressive imagination which invades everything for
nothing is holy or whole enough to escape her subversive ironies.
|A remarkable book, and not For Women Only.
--Joseph Parisi, Booklist
|Hers is a poetry of commitment not so much to womankind as to humankind....When
the voice of this rational, scholarly woman rises to crescendo, a tide
of sweet human emotion lifts the poem into the realm of true experience
with Keatsian intensity.
|"Everywoman Her own Theology," one of the best pieces from Imaginary
Lover, superbly conflates the personal search for meaning with political
statement. The speaker at once invents a new personal belief system and
offers a critiique on existing systems. And what are the essential elements
in a religious doctrine? "There will be no concept of infidels./ consequently
the faithful must entertain/ Themselves some other way than killing infidels."
--Pamela Cook, Borderlands; Texas Poetry Review
|The recording consciousness is steady....the candor and thoughtfulness of the poems are winning....Even stronger than elegy is Mrs. Ostriker's tendency to locate a sustaining force for the rest of life--a force that is both passionate and honorable. This book is full of acceptance--not an enervated giving up, but a commitment to the way things are:|
|In the true course of nature death makes room
For more experimental life, and the rock
Writing doesn't record tranquility.
Mostly the land records catastrophe.
Literature the same.
--Patricia Hampl, New York Times Book Review
University of Pittsburgh Press
Meeting the Dead
Everywoman her own Theology