Poetry. After "Eavesdropping on the Poets at the Coffee House," with their rage and profanities, Allison Thorpe observes of her own poetry that she "could be Anne Bradstreet / in my quaintness," writing of "lilacs, / mourning doves, / tomatoes embarrassed on the vine." Let us praise such quaintness, then, for the wisdom she imparts in this rich poetic memoir of her life as a country homesteader with her Vietnam-haunted husband, RECKLESS PILGRIMS seeking solace on the land. Indeed she has titled each section for a flower, and writes with great affection for nature, wild and cultivated, of "this wonder of difference / that is our place in the world." But even from her opening poem, she makes it clear that the land is also haunted by the lives of those who have come before, with the same dreams and needs, and recognizes that "there is no real place to hide." Later, after she is left a "Widder Woman," she leaves the country for the city: "There is a road ahead, / and you have chosen its story," the story she tells in the final section evocatively titled "Forget Me Not." But for all the "rich showy life" of the city, she admits "the dull in me / pines that past, that plain / and stilling moon." She longs, like a remembered river, to be "just some unruly thing / with no boundaries." And so, though she claims at one point to have "lost poetry," she conjures a world with her words, of all that is missed, "this long traveled love, / these spectral bones fleshing air." And she finds comfort in "the old things," including her "spent body / Knees like a rusty gate / Mind a sputtering choke engine." Even as she describes herself now like those "ruins" she and her husband once found on their farm, she ends in the prayer / May we find value in what we are / Not in what we lack / May we, like the sun, wake and give light / Flaring our colors wildly / Before we tuck into darkness."
Allison Thorpe left Wisconsin in the 1970s, traveled around the country, and ended up in Metcalfe County, Kentucky, where she home-steaded for almost four decades. She has published work in a wide variety of journals, received several creative writing grants, and been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. Her dream is to become an international poker player, smoke signal aficionado, or first-time novelist, whichever comes first. She now lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Author City: LEXINGTON, KY USA