From the Fever-World
Finalist for the 2010 Levis Reading Prize.
Finalist for the 2009 Foreword INDIE Prize in Poetry.
In these precise and soulful meditations, Dubrow combs through lost, illuminated fields of lyrical imagery for what’s been ‘left for gleaners to find,’ and in doing so, restores some part of what we cannot live without.
Here is language given to an unrecorded life, a fiery spirit released through utterance of the most intimate feelings of an imagined Old World woman, one confined to a body used and defined by others. In an act of historical reclamation and generosity, Jehanne Dubrow breaks the ancestral silence of female subjectivity radically constrained by tradition; the result is a poetry of an almost incandescent intensity, a kind of fever dream in a world forever winter.
These are feverish poems indeed, ardent to the point of hallucination, burning between the sexuality of the sacred and the need to write: “to find the slingshot word…turning/ pencils into nettle-points”’ and to be the writing, incantatory as a curse, ancient as the lost world of Yiddish Poland, modern or timeless as “the fullness that begins with emptiness,” the “bitterness that sticks/ like honey on the tongue.” Dubrow’s poetry is never less than astonishing.