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Gates of Pearl - by Jill Hoffman (Paperback)
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Poetry. Decades in gestation, the riveting, poem-memoir THE GATES OF PEARL is woven together from a mother's Overeater's Anonymous journal written in the 1970s, mother-daughter telephone conversations, and the poet-daughter's exquisite verses... And here is the mother-daughter relationship with Pearly confessing her most private self to her grown child over the telephone. No attempt is made to prettify the mother's fragments and idiosyncratic stream-of-consciousness. Too much of Pearly's shimmering originality, her lyricism, and transgressive voice would be lost. Taboos of silence are broken. I leave the bed—I go towards an icy box—holding out its frozen breasts and ****** ****** to me. The daughter responds in meticulous, impassioned verse that provides a counterpoint to the mother's flying-off-the-shelves imagery. Chiseled, Sappho-like in places, unscripted free-style in others, The Gates of Pearl is an impassioned lament of dark beauty. It is also a celebration. Listen to Pearly: My eyes were riveted on the huge banana trees... Lo and behold thru the dark purplish large leaves right before our eyes like a birthing came the stalk of bananas. I had seen Nature's unabashed sexual blaze of glory—an ******.