Issue 66 |
Spring 1995

The Common by Gail Mazur

by Staff

Gail Mazur:
The Common (Univ. of Chicago), her third collection of poems, of which Lloyd Schwartz comments: " 'Dislocated' in Houston, New Englander Gail Mazur writes that she's determined to look at her new surroundings 'with the wise tough eye of exile.' She succeeds-partly because, like so many of our very best poets, she is everywhere in exile; and within this darkness, she turns the flashlight of her tough, ironic wisdom on both herself (her fear, her ambition, her courage, her foolishness) and the common 'animal' life around her (family, students, friends-animals, too), then, beaming even farther outward, on the larger world's daily games (baseball, politics, war). Knowing, cheeky (
'Is that it, Gail, / the wish you make in your happiness?'), palpably sensuous ('yellows / / like sulphur, like lemons, like fresh butter, / not golden, or blazing, but homely-'), and painfully close to home-these poems and what they achieve are anything but common."