Thursday, May 15, 2014

Poets' Quarterly Review of 'The Silence in an Empty House' by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Brian Fanelli reviewed The Silence in an Empty House by Maria Mazziotti Gillan for Poets' Quarterly

"The collection is divided into three sections, “All About Love,” “What We Carry,” and “The Loneliness That Lives,” and by the end of the collection, there is a sense of a completion and healing. The first section primarily deals with the beginning of the relationship. The opening poem, “When We Were Engaged,” for instance, employs the metaphor of a rollercoaster to address nerves and anxiety that come with young love and engagement. Centered in Coney Island, the poem recounts the couple embarking on a roller coaster ride and the nervous feelings that follow. “By the time the coaster stops and you hold my hand/to help me off, I’m giggling in that nervous way/that tells me everyone you’re glad you’re alive and that/five minutes ago you weren’t so sure you’d survive.” The poem is important in the context of the rest of the collection because it highlights the ups and downs of the relationship, especially the challenges and heartache caused by illness that the later poems address. Furthermore, the poem establishes the colloquial language used throughout rest of the book."

continue reading the review