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Under the Quick
Free Verse Editions
Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-121-9 (paperback; $14.00; £10; €11.00; $16.00 CAD); 978-1-60235-122-6 (Adobe eBook; $12.00; £9.00; €10.00; $14.00 CAD); © 2009 by Parlor Press; 82 pages.
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In the gyroscope of the poetic mind, a wild imbalance is also a balance finely-tuned. Song reels in its strange ecstasy. Molly Bendall is such a singer, such a poet. Here is a poetry of charm in the deepest sense—where dark lore is the undercurrent to daily life, where beneath the poem's manners lurks a curious magic. Molly Bendall stands at the impact point of such collisions—right where the world grows complicated, right in the midst of its difficult magic—and lets the disorder complete its song.
"Spun and Frayed into a 'Shimmering Capture;'” review by Suzette Bishop in Octopus Magazine #14 (Oct., 2010)
"I was kept enchanted by one unexpected language encounter after another from the very first poem to the last, a difficult linguistic performance to maintain throughout a whole collection. Part of that delight stems from the resulting surrealistic imagery and the smooth shifts from contemporary urban slang to English language from other eras, with a Celtic or British slant, to colloquialisms."
Carol Muske-Dukes (Poet Laureate of California) in The Huffington Post:
There's an inscrutable, willowy, linguistic élan to the poems—they come from the world below consciousness—language released at pure Ophelia-speed from formality and sequence—their surefootedness and grace is something remarkable. (Confronting Words: Poetry Reviews, Nov. 6, 2009)
"A Compulsive Reader" (Oct. 22, 2009).
In Under the Quick, Molly Bendall's fourth book of poems, the verbal underworld of doing and undoing—oath, love charm, prayer, curse—becomes a refuge of tenderness and malediction. One of her generation's most subtly imaginative poets, Bendall overhears—and whispers to the reader—a lost language which is by turns brainy and promiscuous, clueless and inscrutable, bewitching and bereft: a voice skirting a strange silence, a "goblin market" of snares, cures, trifles, and métiers inconnus. Under the spell of these poems, worlds once imagined break into growls and fingersnaps undoing the rough magic of impersonation.
About the Author
Molly Bendall is the author of three previous collections of poetry, After Estrangement, Dark Summer, and Ariadne's Island. She has received the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry magazine, the Lynda Hull Poetry Award from Denver Quarterly, and two Pushcart Prizes. She teaches at the University of Southern California.
I Causes and Cures
Reminds Me of Panic
heel, tread a bank
III Adventures on a Raft
Adventures on a Raft
IV Blurry Evidence
The Darling Scented Rushes
Under the Quick
Not letting go of the jangle,
say, but flies came
Freaky, she'd say,
Do sing it she urged
Say it went flying there
until it hatched and the night