Creative Writing

Red Shoes: Poems by Honor Moore

9780393345032_p0_v1_s260x420Red Shoes: Poems by Honor Moore, faculty, Creative Writing at The New School

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., 2006 Sometimes vivid, haunting and condensed, sometimes given to talky anecdotes, Moore’s third collection overall marks an advance on 2001’s Darling. Strongly sexual archetypes and colorful scenes from disturbing fairy tales light up the short lines of the first, and best, poems. “Hotel Brindisi” makes the poet into a mermaid: “My gold tail swam dark green water.” Quatrains about waking up at the beach approach echolalia: “Bodies in water or love/ Rub of blue glue on a girl’s dove.” Three longer poems record three of Moore’s unsettling dreams in clear, terse prose. A sequence entitled “Beaut ” memorializes the Austrian photographer and world traveler Inge Morath (1923-2002), whom Moore befriended late in life. Occupying the second half of the book, this sequence mixes brief, hallucinatory verse about death and grief with long-lined recollections of Morath’s words and deeds: “When I met her I was thirty-nine,” Moore recalls, “though now I’m no younger than she was// the day she came to take the first portrait.” Here Moore’s verse can seem artless (“every poem delineated circumstances/ in which my friend now found herself”) though its strength of feeling remains. As in The White Blackbird (Moore’s biography of her grandmother, the American painter Margarett Sargent), Moore’s attention to visual patterns, to how things look and how they appeal to the eye, remains intense throughout. (Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.)

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