One has to admit that Joyce Carol Oates's poetry is sometimes a bit prosy. Fortunately for the listener, her prose is particularly fine. Even in a poem like "To Marlon Brando in Hell," which could afford to be shorter, we are gripped and propelled by the language. Cheryl Smith's narration is as controlled as the words themselves, which reveal the emotional content of the text more than dramatizing it. Most of the poems are, at least on the surface, more intellectual and thoughtful than passionate, and Smith resists the temptation to oversell the subtexts. Only a few of the poems seem deeply self-revelatory, and Smith retains her sense of balance even with these. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2021]
Trade Ed. Harper Audio 2021
DD ISBN 9780063035300 $13.99
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