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Review: Mongrel Love by Judith Krause

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Filed under: Reviews

By: Marie Powell Mendenhall

Judith Krause’s fourth collection of poetry takes the reader on a journey through local and exotic worlds.

The journey may also be a metaphor for life. The poems are divided into three sections: “A Discovery of Strangers,” “Cargo,” and “Plots.” All three can be understood in different ways. “Plots,” for example, fit a story, a cemetery, or a piece of land. The poems explore all of these meanings.

Krause experiments with poetic forms, line endings, and imagery. The words and images in Mongrel Love are chosen to take the reader along on the journey. “We are all wounded/& beautiful” says the title poem, as we travel “the fruitless/ quest for the familiar.”

In “Arrivals” the narrator goes to Paris and meets “the man who saved my father’s life by sleeping in.” In “This is How,” travelers remember “floating down the river,/ all wine and white lights…”

The poem “Thirteen Ways of Viewing a Public Park” tells of “people paddling canoes up and down Regina Avenue.” And later, “How a sudden blooming of dragonflies becomes an iridescent veil,/ a living scarf, floating through the evening air.”

“The Museum of Sounds” tells a life story through what seem like random sound effects. The poem “Remains” is dedicated to Tamra Keepness, a child who disappeared in Regina in 2004. In “The Search,” we find “every twitch in our dreams is a sighting of the lost.”

Krause is a Regina writer, editor, and teacher. She won the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize in 2006. She has published three other books of poetry: What We Bring Home (1986), Half the Sky (1986), and Silk Routes of the Body (1981).

URL: reviews.skbooks.com/?p=201

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