The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams: New and Selected Poems 1974 to 2018

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Uncharacteristically, I opened this book in the middle and read the first poem on that page. I was stunned. That such beauty and fierceness can reside in one poet amazes me. Mary Mackey is a national treasure. Her poetry resonates with feminism and the world of nature without any trace of didacticism. This is her eighth collection of poetry, and we are better for it. I first read a Mary Mackey poem in 1975. It was in a magazine. I was so taken by it that I cut it out and have kept it. Such is the power of her words and phrasing that you will find many such poems in this collection.

In the poem “Infinite Worlds,” Markey riffs on the astronomical concept of an infinite number of universes. She is creative and clever without ever being obvious. In “Are Animals Immortal?”, Mackey speaks directly to us and commands us to stop reading her non-poem. Humor flows throughout this volume, as one might expect from a relative of Mark Twain. And like all of us, in “One Night Stand” she is asked to be cured of caring and to “become as sane and cold as any normal American.” The reader will also have fun when Leda, Ophelia, Juliet, and Desdemona talk back. Her poem “Witness” tells of the devastation that is destroying the beauty of the Earth. And there is quite a bit of wisdom in “Cold Snap.” This is highly recommended. It is enjoyable for the poetry novice or the serious lover of great poetry.

Reviewed By:

Author Mary Mackey
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 216 pages
Publisher Marsh Hawk Press
Publish Date 2018-Sep-01
ISBN 9780996991124
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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