Item description for Line Dance by Barbara Crooker...
Line Dance by Barbara Crooker
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.19" Weight: 0.28 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2008
Publisher WordTech Communications
ISBN 1933456922 ISBN13 9781933456928
Availability 129 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 12:41.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Barbara Crooker
Barbara Crooker was born in Cold Spring, New York, in 1945, but currently resides in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. She began writing poetry in the late 1970s. Her poetry, for which she has won many awards, incorporates themes of nature, home, family, love, loss, and disability. Her poems have been published in anthologies and magazines, as well as compiled in several chapbooks and books include Radiance, Line Dance and ten chapbooks.
Reviews - What do customers think about Line Dance?
beautiful and understandable poetry... Jul 16, 2008
Critics describe Crooker's poetry here as "a sublime tonic against the darkness" or "spilling over with energy and movement" or "exquisite." The work in Line Dance is all that, of course. Such critical praise is justified and deserved, but leaves out two important aspects readers need to know. One, regardless of topic -- death, autism, failure, loss -- Barbara Crooker distills beauty from it. Two, her joyous words will be easily understood by readers. She welcomes readers into her world and makes them feel at home.
In "Blues for Karen" Crooker reaches out to a dead friend the best way she knows how, through words and images:
How could you die? We weren't done talking yet. So I am trying to call you using the morning glories, whose blue mouths are open to the sky, whose throats are white stars, thinking those tendrils could trellis upward, hand over little green hand, so tenacious, they hang on in any storm...
Crooker's use of metaphors is reader-friendly. We can all relate to her descriptions with a sense of wonder. This excerpt from "Zero at the Bone" takes us to a frozen place where the wintry season joins the unwritten lines of the heart:
The scouring light of winter scrubs whatever it falls on, the bright whiteness revealing all the small incursions, marks and stains of another year. In the bare bones of trees, we see old nests, broken branches, bagworm, gall, all that was hidden by summer's green scrim. Now we are at the heart of things, the bone chill of zero, the closed eye of the pond. No secrets.
Buried within "The VCCA Fellows Visit the Holiness Baptist Church, Amherst, Virginia" is one of the sweetest, most touching and comforting ruminations on death I've ever read:
...a deacon speaks of his sister, who's "gone home," and I realize he doesn't mean back to Georgia, but she's passed over. I float on this sweet certainty, of a return not to the bland confection of wispy clouds and angels in nightshirts, but to childhood's kitchen, a dew-drenched June morning, roses tumbling by the back porch.
These poems represent "the thin rind of memory" protecting the juicy pulp that is Barbara Crooker's life and poetic mind. Highly recommended.
Excellent contemporary poems Jan 25, 2008
Barbara Crooker's poem are easy to like. She has a flair for words and images that touch the heart. It helps to read this book from beginning to end becuase she has organized the poems so beautifully around the central poem, "Line Dance."
Line Dance Jan 14, 2008
In this, her second collection of poems, Barbara Crooker explores the territory of what brings us joy, of what breaks our hearts. Grief and love. "Grief and heart could be the same word," she suggests. "Both have / five letters; both rhyme / with blood." It's not sadness that occupies these poem, rather the idea that in spite of grief, there is joy in the simple things life offers: the swelling bud of a pink peony, grey juncos at her bird feeder, the autistic son who surprises her, the dead who dance at a wedding. Crooker has the ability to bring light into the darkest spaces; her poems burst with color: lemons and the lavish light of yellow, red hearts in windows facing a snowy landscape, brown-eyed sunflowers. There is music in these poems, in her deft use of language, in the surprising and oh-so satisfying way Crooker can bring in that last image, like a bow at the end of a performance. You will leave these poems dancing and satisfied, too, that you were allowed a few moments in the world of her extraordinary poetic ear and eye.
I'm riffing on the warm air, the wing beats of my lungs that can take this all in, flush the heart's red peony, then send it back without effort or thought. And the trees breathe in what we exhale, clap their green hands in gratitude, bend to the sky.
Life in a Line Jan 11, 2008
Close to twenty years ago, I read a Crooker poem, "Raspberries," in the collection, The Lost Children. Until then, I had never found such erotic beauty in a fruit ... and beauty/redemption in what scars our lives, as in "Christ Comes to Centralia," from the same collection.
With Line Dance the simple beauty remains, but each seems filled with particulars, e.g., in describing the Pennsylvania mountains, Crooker reveals: "... Blue, Allegheny, Kittatinny / Tuscarora, this big-muscled, broad-backed / hunk of a state." Or in listing the winters of impressionist artists: "Caillebotte's chimneys exhale like glamorous / women in a cafe."
Crooker's strong metaphorical language inhabits the lines, but the poems seem airy and natural. Each word is perfectly placed; the line endings are natural--not straining toward the jarring/illogical effect of much contemporary poetry; and the final lines are lessons for anyone who has ever wondered how to end a poem.
Other reviewers have mentioned the "autism poems," and anyone who reads such poems as "45s, LPs" will understand how, as in other fields of endeavour, less is more! The "less" in this and other poems that deal with the autism of her son, breaks our hearts--less is more.
And, perhaps, in this amateur review, I should end with less: Buy and Read this Book.
"La Danse de Vivre" Jan 9, 2008
What Crooker has done with "dance" is splendid, so much so I will never see the word in the same manner for the rest of my life. Every poem is excellent, and all of them seamlessly unified with "la danse de vivre." Bravo to her!