To Put The Mouth To

Selected for the 1991 National Poetry Series, this collection explores a rich array of subjects in an overtly political, distinctly female, and wonderfully straightforward way. Hall, editor of The Antioch Review , writes frequently of desire, sensuality, and the celebratory possibilities of the physical world. The poem “Taboo” begins: “I take into silence my silence–what / I will not say, / Watching white leaves in sunlight wave.” She counterbalances this quiet, introspective work with others that make highly charged, outwardly aimed critiques, as in this stanza from “Cameos”: “An inarticulate revulsion to the rubbing out / of women. De Kooning and Picasso. / Deformity embraced as part of an affair / of shapes, cubes–a truth.” Hall has a unique and powerful voice.

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Selected by

Richard Howard