Today's book of poetry - Hooked, by Carolyn Smart. Brick Books. 2009, 2011.
Smart tackles the lives of seven women, some known better than others, and uses their trajectories to muse on everything from madness to memory.
Hooked is divided into seven sections, one each for Myra Hindley, Unity Mitford, Zelda Fitzgerald, Dora Carrington, Carson McCullers, Jane Bowles and Elizabeth Smart. If you are like me I was only familiar with four of the seven. It matters not because as much as these poems are about these women, these poems are about all women, their desires, fears and attempts to be creative in a world that often doesn't listen to the voices of women.
Smart treats all the women to the same microscopic lens that goes past personality and reveals truth in simple and often heart rendering ways. This is not a sympathetic voice but an empathetic one as Smart explores the map of each woman's heart, stamps out their correspondence with elan.
This is the sort of writing only a mature writer, one that has all that experience to draw from, can manage.