Fierce, compassionate, unflinching, beautifully crafted, and completely accessible, the fifty poems in Mary Mackey's new collection Breaking the Fever combine intense lyricism with sharp insights. Mackey puts no limits on her subjects: everything from the mystical visions of a sick child to global warming interests her. Sometimes the poems are comic (as when a disillusioned Leda dishes the dirt on the great white swan who claimed to be Zeus); sometimes they are tragic (a massacre in Mexico that Mackey witnessed, longing for a second chance to speak to dead relatives, grief for young men who fall in battle). Whatever the topic, readers will find themselves entranced by the sheer lyricism of Mackey's style and her lushly crafted imagery, both reminiscent of the great poets of Latin America (whom Mackey cites as major influences). Here are moving love poems made more powerful by the fact that Mackey has written them to her husband of twenty years, a sensual samba that sets galaxies dancing, a vision of a world in which racial prejudice no longer exists because everyone has miraculously turned blue. In short, Mackey has an imagination that defies categorization. Belonging to no particular school of poetry, she offers us lyric moments in a unique style that deftly combines passion and intelligence.
Used availability for Mary Mackey's Breaking the Fever
January 2006 : USA Paperback