Balzac’s Robe and Other Poems
by Laura Marello (New Women’s Voices Series, No. 122)
Beautifully carved, Laura Marello’s poems imply that we are not just what we eat, but who we have loved and been nourished by. These love poems, some of them pure metaphor, as with “Hawk,” are like Balzac’s robe, not too discreetly disguising appetite, yet sad and open about chances of survival.
–Paul Nelson, author of AWP Award winner, Days Off
Everybody wants poetry to be free, but if the poems are any good you realize they have cost the writer something. While the poems in Balzac’s Robe made me laugh aloud a good dozen times, I realized shortly thereafter that it was an uneasy laughter. At the heart of these poems is a serious loneliness and separation from others — often, a missed connection. This layering of wit, hurt and a hunger for the strangeness of words and the way we say them magically in our ordinary lives, makes me think of Lydia Davis. But Laura Marello is her own writer, and you need these unique poems more than you may know. The best poetry is not free. Buy this book.
–John Poch, author of Fix Quiet
Dispatches, practical advice, blunt observations, and home truths – all gathered to create a poetry that feels both down to earth and imbued with irony. Laura Marello’s Balzac’s Robe may be easy on the eyes but there’s no mistaking its depth and the flow of sharp perceptions at its heart.
–Michael Mirolla, Bressani Prize winner, The House on 14th Avenue
Laura Marello has decided to describe simply the world she walks in. The sketches are summarizations of colors, people, food, cities, birds. More than snapshots, she is analyzing the transparency that will become the image. Uncluttered and never convoluted, her depictions of what she sees reveal complex stories. To record so faithfully a confession is what portrayal is all about. To shoot the details and the explanation of the chronicle is poetry. With candor and clarity, the poet conceals the mastery of her craft. What a treat these clean lines procure the reader.
–Antonio D’Alfonso, author of Fabrizio’s Passion
Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]