PRAISE FOR LOOMING
"Jennifer Franklin has taken the true path to her terrible story, one of the most wrenching in all our human circumstance. She has found--of course I mean by that verb a translation of the classical meaning: she has "invented" the one classical myth that can serve her meaning in its ultimate truths. Nothing in the occasion has been missed, but all is wonderfully changed, and Franklin has joined Tennyson on the other side of pain, it is ecstasy."
"The poems in Jennifer Franklin's stunning Looming strive to alleviate personal tragedy through identification with the ancient and mythic, most particularly with the archetypal figure of maternal sorrow, Demeter. But if Demeter was allowed to reunite with her daughter for a portion of the year, the terms of Franklin's plight remain fixed and unchanging. "A sad, solitary child--things always hurt me more / Than everyone else," she writes. "It was all practice for this / Permanent pain." All the familiar responses to traumatic loss--self-critique, anger, guilt, deep despair and the vacillation between destructiveness and an almost improbable will to live--convene here in poems at once unrelentingly agonized yet elegantly, beautifully, imaginatively phrased. All poets know that it is through the work of the imagination that the world can be made bearable, even lovable again. But seldom is that knowledge put to use with such urgency and grace as it is in these poems."
"Jennifer Franklin's poems speak to all that is lost, broken, and aching with wound. Although the poems in this superb series are intensely personal, they borrow from and gather the momentum of mythology in their raw, honest depiction of a mother's hard grief and her almost unbearable tenderness--the other side of brokenness."