I wanted to post comments about the poems on my friend Judith's Wikipedia site. But when I set up the account and read all the fine print, it sounded a little scary—as in post without any bias or we'll cancel all your accounts.
Fair enough. I made no secret of my bias, but I opted not to jeopardize the sites and accounts of my friends. That said, here's what I wrote:
I've had the pleasure of reading many of Judith's poems, some in draft form (some in multiple drafts, multiple versions), so I know that what looks easy is actually the result of determined immersion.
Judith's poems stem from and invoke subconscious undercurrents, providing a confluence for images that might otherwise be disparate or disjointed. The flow from image to image seems effortless, seamless and yet strange, as though it was written from a dream, as in
My conscience sits inside my spleen
like an egg that hasn’t been broken.
My father carried the egg.
In her work, it all fits, and I sense a deep narrative, so that the pieces fit layers down, inviting me to read and reread her poems through the strata of daily experience, as when she begins with
They say a spray of lavender
hung upside down in a closet,
they say lemons.
A surprise begins with
she is waxen
and broad leafed, her shoulder
blades oiled as a fine wood,
her mind swept clean.
and the poem continues, until it ends with
The wind is a rosin
that plays her hair.
In her poems, Judith explores the common experiences of being a mother, wife, writer, daughter, grown-girl, woman—from a subconscious realm where senses and observations are heightened, a place of myth and beauty and sometimes a violent hardness. But whereas the poems of Ann Sexton might explore these roles from rage or nightmare, Judith's poems breathe and notice the tastes and smells and colors and textures, the music of every day.