Wack’s startling collection is one that leaves the individual in deep hypnosis. Her dexterity is sprawled across the pages of her debut collection which is vivid, intense and heartwarming. The flow of language in every page is done with such skill that coerce the emotion of the reader to decipher the poems. This collection tackles the theme of love, the burden of loving a person, and the desire to know if love is measured in the same quantity.
The subject of tragedy is embedded in this poem throughout, whether it is the loss of a lover or the loss of one’s self, wook pours out a dialogue of the poet persona questioning, begging them to survive through it all. This could be found in the poem, ‘The body problem’ in the following lines from page(10);
“At twelve you are Cassandra sitting on the rooftop,
with your mouth full of snakes…….the body is like an empty frame,
waiting for marriage”.
The collection then takes a startling turn in regards to human behavior due to living in a harsh world. The poet persona questions are habits that almost feel savagery, wondering if she still has the humanity in her and we can see it in this poem “ A cruel thing within it” in page (21);
“ I pulled the hook from the lip of the fish and let him slip back wounded”.
The body problem lightly bounces its light on issues that heavy the mind and this includes love and what the heart decides upon on its own accord. With an ease of the flow of language, a poem flows from the author’s hand into the pages that engulfs the reader’s thoughts. In the poem “Pasiphae” (pg28) there is a full questioning of what love is and how she admits that the love she has for the individual is overwhelming. She describes her love as a knife that is placed to the throat of an animal. Then lastly she touches on the subject of death in her last poem “Arcadia” and this lines;
“My body has been made for this kind of slow deliberate work….. I know how to
take the dead and feed them to the living “.
The intense imagery she conjures in these lines shows a familiarity with death that she no longer feels frightened by it, but sees it as a part of the symbiotic system.
This collection which moves from body acceptance to lovers, also questions the essence of living. The language is elegant yet simple. There is almost a certain finality on each theme of a page that allows for the reader to enjoy the next. With poems like methods of consumption readers are engaged in creating vivid images. The Body Problem is one collection that will haunt the reader (in a good way) for days to come!