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For The Ride Reviews

For The Ride by Alice Notley

For the Ride

Alice Notley

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Penguin Books
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication date: 3 Mar 2020
ISBN: 9780143134572
4 stars out of 5
Yasmine Shamma
5 Jun 2020

"both challenging and rewarding"

The stories Notley’s poems tell vary, but they retain certain tendencies; for example, the situation of a speaker in a constructed space (“room of walls”). The first line of For the Ride posits an everlasting “glyph”: “Back up and reenter glyph again, one. Wasn’t one always there?” In Mysteries of Small Houses, such starting points inform pursuits, as the speaker undertakes a spiritual journey of remembering, yielding poems so open, accessible and intimate that they often overwhelm. “Flowers”, for example, takes the dark fertility of honesty as its focus, beginning with the notion of living “in a lovely redpetal slowly burning house” and repeatedly setting its stanzas alight as an insistent form of re-beginning.