Today's poem is "Cormorant"
from Becoming Bone

University of Arkansas Press

Annie Boutelle is a senior lecturer at Smith College, where she founded the Poetry Center. She was a finalist for the 1999 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 2000 Kathryn Morton Award, and the 2002 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals and magazines, including Poetry, the Hudson Review, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Painted Bride, and the Green Mountain Review. She is the author of Thistle and Rose: A Study of Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry and a forthcoming poetry collection, Nest of Thistles.

Other poems by Annie Boutelle in Verse Daily:
March 1, 2004:  "Marriage Bed" "We leave them. / Mother's face wind-flushed..."

About Becoming Bone:

"Like a whaler's scrimshaw, images incised on shell and bone, Annie Boutelle's lines seem etched, indelible—a laser-like intensity transmuting the most intractable materials. In a language spare, exact, essential as necessity itself, ‘past flattering chatter, hypocrisies lush as weed on harbor rock,’ Annie Boutelle tears aside the flowery veils of feminine concealment of another age, to give voice to the inner life of an islanded soul, the nineteenth-century writer Celia Thaxter."
—Eleanor Wilner

"This is a magnificent secret history—of a time we now know very little, in spite of its closeness, and of a remarkable spirit who lived in that time and is now forgotten. The poems are stark, original, lovely, the poetic knowledge terrific. I am convinced that Annie Boutelle is Celia Thaxter; only she (Annie) will not be forgotten. Read this fine book."
—Gerald Stern

"Annie Boutelle has chosen, in a reimagining of Thaxter's own voice, to dramatize hints, silences, and the sea. White spaces surround these suggestive poems like the waves crashing around a lighthouse—or as Boutelle writes in Thaxter's persona, 'winds haul themselves, weeping, / against the flanks.' The sorrows and victories of Thaxter’s life are conveyed with sensual, sonorous richness and yet understatement. To the very few effective poems about childbirth I know, I would add Boutelle's three brief, intense poems here about the birth of each of Thaxter's children. After the death of her husband, she is pictured 'wrapped // in mourning, a thick black / speck on an unwritten page.' And yet, if much of her inner life—like that of so many women (some of them writers)—went unwritten for a time, Becoming Bone has redressed the blankness with empathy, depth, and a keen intelligence."
—Mary Jo Salter

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home  Archives   Web Monthly Features  About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved