Sunday, May 08, 2011


Cow by Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex 2011), 166 pages, trade paperback

Susan sent me a copy of Cow and I find it fascinating but difficult to explain. There are all these different cows with different names of goddesses and mythical and historical figures, references I vaguely recognize in many cases, but they also have viewpoints and voices that are credible as those of cows in some ways, and as tale-tellers in others. There are a few marginal notes, which are great, but if there were as many marginal notes as I really needed, they would be longer than the poems. That said, the stories and scenes in the poems seemed to just whisk me along through the book even though I didn't know how I got there exactly or where we were going. It has an airy quality, like being out in a meadow or riding on a magic carpet or something. I recommend the trip.

Here's a review Susan linked to from her FaceBook page, written by someone who has gotten a bit more handle on the structure than I: