Review of “On Love: a poem sequence”Posted: July 19, 2011
Excerpt from Jack Hughes’ review of my latest book On Love: a poem sequence:
Jill is a practitioner of the meditative lyric. One thing she is able to do is work with the abstract in the poem as if it was an imagery. Her poems can be completely abstract, in the sense of, devoid of any but the most minimal image, nothing more than sunlight — and this has its own richness in this sense in which the concepts and conceptions are given leave to live; a withdrawal of sensory imagery allows them to have a reality.
“We are everywhere
We want to be in love.
A light through the trees.”
Somehow the natural effacement, modesty of her tone, allows her to use these words without it having the sound of a sweeping statement. The otherwise grand inclusiveness of the pronoun ‘we,’ the capacious enclosure of ‘everywhere,’ remains somehow nicely inner and individual — her poems have the sounds of quiet inner individual meditative thinking. Meaning is controlled in the poems because meaning is only one of the things they pursue, or are built of; they also have soft rhythms, musical values, and values of how the images balance against the abstractions.