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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding poetry, 14 Nov 2006
This review is from: Galatea (Salt Modern Poets) (Paperback)
Quite simply brilliant and original poetry.The cover notes by Harold Bloom and Tobias Hill are spot on in their assessment of and praise for this young poet.High art at its very best.Accomplished,inchoate,precise and constantly challenging,I cannot recommend this exciting debut highly enough.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and White--What's in a Name?, 25 July 2007
This review is from: Galatea (Salt Modern Poets) (Paperback)
What's in a name? The etymology of Melanie is "black or dark-skinned" and Galatea is "she who is milk-white." From these origins we have flesh made word in the text and page before us. Galatea, whether body or statue, casts the same dark shadow. In this case what lies in shadow is not evil, but truth--what Robert Graves must have had in mind by suggesting the myth depicts the overthrow of the matrilineal cult.

Challenger writes:

Strangeness comes to us all at the limits of Eros,
Where tenderness, by the gradual erosion
Of each small act of worship, mercerises the flesh
Of the love-feast, rendering the body revelational.

Like the palindrome, Eros saw I was sore, Romanticism is a vicious cycle that must be broken. You can't eat Hope. Tenderness has left us to chemically treat the body as if each pill were the small act of worship. Mercerise could also render a mercer out the tenderness as in legal tender--money is made of cotton. Mercerising increases the luster and affinity for dye. So what does that teach us about the body? We are born and given a birth certificate with a name on it to be bought and sold as a product--willingly or unwillingly. So what is revelational is not ecstacy, but a spiritual apocalypse in order to identify the body without giving it a name. It is a complete erosion of the self-constructed self and the socially-constructed self. To put it quite simply Challenger reminds us what it is to be human. Easier said than done, and she does it here.
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Galatea (Salt Modern Poets)
Galatea (Salt Modern Poets) by Melanie Challenger (Paperback - 1 Oct 2006)
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