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Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems

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The poems in Desire Lines, both new and selected, give shape to the desires we must nourish if we are to retain our compassion. The poems collaborate as a series of variations on the theme of desire, much like the way a motif weaves through a piece of music or a thread through a tapestry. Haskins presents autobiographical poems and poems that give voice to other women, bot The poems in Desire Lines, both new and selected, give shape to the desires we must nourish if we are to retain our compassion. The poems collaborate as a series of variations on the theme of desire, much like the way a motif weaves through a piece of music or a thread through a tapestry. Haskins presents autobiographical poems and poems that give voice to other women, both historical and imagined. Lola Haskins has published six full-length poetry collections. A musician and dancer, Haskins shared the title role in Mata Hari, a full-length ballet, whose libretto she wrote for Dance Alive!, a touring dance company. She has read her poetry on National Public Radio and BBC radio.


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The poems in Desire Lines, both new and selected, give shape to the desires we must nourish if we are to retain our compassion. The poems collaborate as a series of variations on the theme of desire, much like the way a motif weaves through a piece of music or a thread through a tapestry. Haskins presents autobiographical poems and poems that give voice to other women, bot The poems in Desire Lines, both new and selected, give shape to the desires we must nourish if we are to retain our compassion. The poems collaborate as a series of variations on the theme of desire, much like the way a motif weaves through a piece of music or a thread through a tapestry. Haskins presents autobiographical poems and poems that give voice to other women, both historical and imagined. Lola Haskins has published six full-length poetry collections. A musician and dancer, Haskins shared the title role in Mata Hari, a full-length ballet, whose libretto she wrote for Dance Alive!, a touring dance company. She has read her poetry on National Public Radio and BBC radio.

37 review for Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alarie

    I wasn’t familiar with Haskins’ work until the night I bought this book, a little over a week ago. She didn’t read, but recited her poems flawlessly from memory, as much a polished actress as a poet. I was so captivated that I bought two books from her. I read this one first because it’s the older with poems published between 1983 and 2004. After reading this collection, I’m an even bigger fan. Her poems are compressed, rarely over 2/3 of a page long, but they pack a wallop. I often reread a pass I wasn’t familiar with Haskins’ work until the night I bought this book, a little over a week ago. She didn’t read, but recited her poems flawlessly from memory, as much a polished actress as a poet. I was so captivated that I bought two books from her. I read this one first because it’s the older with poems published between 1983 and 2004. After reading this collection, I’m an even bigger fan. Her poems are compressed, rarely over 2/3 of a page long, but they pack a wallop. I often reread a passage, if not the entire poem, to savor the language before I was ready to move on to the next. My favorites were her persona poems. Women’s voices are often missing from history, so Haskins lets them speak through her. In a series of poems about the marriage of Xtofer and Elizabeth, we hear the wife’s point of view. From the beginning (1712), when he showed up to ask for her hand in marriage, she had no say: “Then Father’s from his walk, sets his thumbstick in the stand, takes Xtofer’s arm and off they go, to the deep seats where men discuss together, Father and his solicitor, this very Christian lawyer. And I, wonder what he means.” In 1724, Elizabeth says, “I hear he rode from the Angel to the Two Necked Swan. He was not alone, and will he return I know no more than I know of that place where…true angels weep and sing.” While wondering if her husband will return home from philandering, she sits watching her three-year-0ld daughter sleeping. This is her only daughter to survive birth. “Dearest Jennet, take my life, this broken old rhapsody of scraps, and know the truth of love: that no matter where you hide, chyld or woman, the moon and stars will cross the dark to find you.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    A.

    I don't think I've ever read a selected poems volume all the way through before. We read this as part of the store's poetry book club and I soldiered through. Haskins has a broad range of subjects including music, history and highways. I would have like to have read the full book on music (Forty-four Ambitions for the Piano) because I enjoyed the selections so much. I kept wondering what was left out. Her language is simple, but lyrical. I think she's a strong narrative poet (For Mother, After th I don't think I've ever read a selected poems volume all the way through before. We read this as part of the store's poetry book club and I soldiered through. Haskins has a broad range of subjects including music, history and highways. I would have like to have read the full book on music (Forty-four Ambitions for the Piano) because I enjoyed the selections so much. I kept wondering what was left out. Her language is simple, but lyrical. I think she's a strong narrative poet (For Mother, After the Vision Fire and The .38) both from the new section are superb. She can tell a story in a poem without sacrificing cadence or concision. In the poetry group, we ended up talking about the poems from her 1984 book Castings the most. In this book, she takes on the persona of three women from 19th century Florida, including a slave. In the most successful of these (Winston, you were Wrong and Surely There Must be Others) she comes to embody these fictional women. In others, I wasn't quite as taken and was aware of the artifice. It was hard to get a handle on just where she was coming from. She reveals herself seldomly and one has to wonder why she picks the subjects she does. I liked this about her work. I can weary of poets who lay all their psychological baggage out on the table. I want to figure it out for myself. There's a lot of grief and darkness here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I respect the great range in this collection. Here's a favorite: Surely there must be others Surely there must be others, other wives whose men wear gray and have been long from home, others who wake flushed as I. Surely somewhere a Margaret rubs, as if by chance, against a spindle at which she works her skirts pouring blue to the floor. And somewhere, surely, a Mary lies alone, her thighs pressed tighter to the sheets than if she slept. I have kept silence with my heart before, folded it like a bird I respect the great range in this collection. Here's a favorite: Surely there must be others Surely there must be others, other wives whose men wear gray and have been long from home, others who wake flushed as I. Surely somewhere a Margaret rubs, as if by chance, against a spindle at which she works her skirts pouring blue to the floor. And somewhere, surely, a Mary lies alone, her thighs pressed tighter to the sheets than if she slept. I have kept silence with my heart before, folded it like a bird into a locket snapped shut. But this silence is some other. It flies through gold. In the cold night the clock strikes four. Even the roof moans in the dawn wind.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Williams

    Her poems are about simple situations, she is observant and tells a story with few words and beautiful imagery. Haskins is not afraid to experiment with different forms throughout the book, she has a wide variety of different poems. She uses couplets, tercets, and quatrains; she also uses many different ways to break up the stanzas. I feel like she really lets the poem speak to her and tell her what form it should be. I found the less words she uses the better the poem. is.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    The shorter her poems, the better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josie Turner

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason Arnold

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

  10. 5 out of 5

    Telaina

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jill Johnson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rynell

  15. 5 out of 5

    emma

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christian Miller

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Passafiume

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin Hollowell

  19. 4 out of 5

    Harry Palacio

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gary McDowell

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angela M. Brommel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joan Paribello

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Lavender

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peycho Kanev

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tina Schumann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Stoner

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ching-In

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  33. 4 out of 5

    abcdefg

  34. 4 out of 5

    David Frye

  35. 4 out of 5

    MsFormed

  36. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Coyne

  37. 4 out of 5

    Molly

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