by Eloise Bruce
Julie Agoos, fwd.
“What a simmering, rich and alive book Rattle is. Full of the spirit of place and kin, Southern food, Southern violence, loyalty and love, guilt and laughter. Haunted by thedead, transplanted North riddled with myth, these poems emanate the wisdom of survival. They are a big pleasure to read.”—Alicia Ostriker
Bruce’s language is deceptively straightforward, words resonate with echoes of revival meetings and oral storytelling traditions. She hones in on the perfect image, the apt metaphor. The “rattle” of the title becomes at once the rattle of memory and the rattle of death, but also the rattle that animates nature and syncopates the music of our lives as we move through it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Opelika, Alabama, in 1951, ELOISE BRUCE has worked in all aspects of the theater and is a teaching artist for New Jersey Writer’s Project and a middle school and high school for the arts. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including American Letters and Commentary, Blue Moon Review and The Paterson Literary Review as well as other journals and magazines. She is a recipient of a Fellowship in poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and helps administrate The Frost Place Festival of Poetry in Franconia, New Hampshire, each summer. Bruce lives with her husband, poet David Keller, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Henry is long is every way-
tooth, his hair, penis, and silences.
He is eating buttermilk and cornbread
or oyster stew. He wants a divorce.
From “Scrapbook 1973”