Spine

Description

96 pages
$18.95
ISBN 1-894031-90-3
DDC C811'.6

Author

Publisher

Year

2004

Contributor

Lydia Forssander-Song is a sessional instructor in the English
Department at Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C.

Review

This beautifully produced collection of poems is made up of three parts.
Part 1, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?,” playfully yet
penetratingly interrogates literature (such as the portrayal of women in
mythology and feeling alien in “Science Fiction”), literary
characters (such as Anne in Anne of Green Gables and Jane in Jane Eyre),
and writers (such as the “powerful white men” in “Slush Pile”).
Press also pointedly deals with predominantly female maladies like
hysteria (“Madness”) and bulimia (“Consumption”) in this
section.

Part 2, “The Immaculate Conception,” provides a contemporary
understanding of some historical characters such as the Virgin Mary,
Joan (daughter of Eric Gill), the apostle Paul, and Aldus Manutius in
their roles as creators of texts. Part 3, “Room,” reflectively deals
with the act of reading (Proust, Wordsworth, Austen’s Pride and
Prejudice, Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and birdwatching field
guides).

The collection also includes two poems on printing presses (“Lead”
and “The Accidental Press”) that demonstrate each speaker’s
intimate, dependent, and tactile relationship with word production. For
example, in “Lead,” Press writes, “Thousands of miniature
masterpieces / in lead. Spelling the world” and “the letters become
our oxygen, / and we drown.”

Spine is a tribute to literature. A love for reading pervades the
collection, and its ubiquitous allusions and quotations invite and yield
rich intertextual readings.

Citation

Press, K.I., “Spine,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16401.