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Carnal Fragranceby: Florence Weinberger
Publication Date: October 2004
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The poems in Carnal Fragrance are straightforward dispatches from the land of grief and mourning. Observant, controlled, and rich with feelings, these poems take note of the surprising moments, small ironies, odd sensations and quotidian realities of survivorhood. They examine what happens when a loved one dies and you must live on without them, aching to find ways to continue in their absence, surrounded by their lingering presence and yet utterly bereft. Ovid said, "Songs have immunity from death." Poems like these, which deal with loss in such a clear eyes way remind us that Ovid was right.
As unfashionable as it may be in some quarters to talk about Voice and Subject in poetry, Florence Weinberger's new collection, Carnal Fragrance, is remarkable for these essentials. While the surfaces of these poems are sharp, original and closely observed, it is the subject of mortality--the specific death of her husband, the death we all come to--that provides their weight and resonance. The historical and quotidian blend to offer an examination of life that bears brilliant witness to our desire and our loss. And the voice--authentic, compelling, and fresh.
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