The Golden Road

Triquarterly. Nov. 2012. c.80p. ISBN 9780810128590. pap. $16.95. POETRY
OrangeReviewStarIn her latest volume (after The Ache of Appetite), Hadas centers her poems on the themes of memory, loss, and love in pieces that have been richly crafted in traditional forms as well as free verse. These poems follow the twisted process of loss, particularly the long-standing dementia and death of her husband, composer George Edwards. Solace seems to come from the act of writing, which becomes the act of retaining memory: "the medium of ambivalence being verse/ and I the mistress of the might-have-been…a territory poems flourish in." These poems flourish on planes and ferries, in parks, and in the Greek islands, imbued with mythology. In pieces that are both lament and meditation, Hadas takes readers on her journey from the neurology department of a hospital where her husband fails his naming test to the poet contemplating Bishop and Heraclitus and the river that is both a symbol of life and change. Dedicating these poems to her husband and son, Hadas acknowledges that "The gold road curves./ The living pass the dead./ Old and young acknowledge one another;/ then take separate paths ahead."
VERDICT Highly recommended for all contemporary collections.
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