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Di Michele, Mary.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1986. 119pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-7710-2823-7. CIP

Grade 11 and up
Reviewed by donalee Moulton-Barrett

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

With each new collection of poetry Mary Di Michele's creative voice gets stronger; her vision more intense. Immune To Gravity, her fifth collection, is a powerful, moving body of work.

In Immune To Gravity, Di Michele probes the modern woman's psyche, places her firmly in contemporary, urban society and observes as she sinks, or swims. She swims.

But this volume is not a collection for women only, nor is it a distant observation of womanhood in the 80s. It is a personal, often painful, journey through Di Michele's intimate landscapes. "Giving birth to a child has put me/in the hothouse with Ner Wolfe,/seeking solutions to murder/philosophical and Dangling/ among the orchids." (From "Orchids And Blood").

These are honest poems and the reader feels Di Michele's presence as if she were right there in the room, joining in the reading. However, she does not rely on sentimentality to capture the reader's attention. That she leaves to the solidity of her analysis, the lyricism of her craft, the rhythm of her language, as in these lines from "Stars In Mid-River": "It always made me cold to look at them/as a child, it always made me dizzy ,/fighting the impulse to take a running/leap from the planet,/as from the edge of a precipice/ where it's only the earth that's calling me home."

And in her own subtle way Di Michele calls us all home, for we are, none of us, immune to gravity.

donalee Moulton-Barrett, Halifax, N.S.
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