DARK. SWEET.: NEW & SELECTED POEMS by Linda Hogan reviewed by Amanda Hickok • Cleaver Magazine
DARK. SWEET.: NEW & SELECTED POEMS by Linda Hogan Coffee House Press, 421 pages reviewed by Amanda Hickok Opening Linda Hogan’s Dark. Sweet. is like coming upon the entrance to a dark cave and striking a match to find the interior covered in Paleolithic paintings. Her imagery is primordial—simple, direct representations of the natural world that recur throughout her poetry to tell and retell the history and oral stories of the Chickasaw, her own personal history, and her concerns for the present. The same images are reused and recast with each poem, accumulating new layers of meaning as her writing progresses from the late ’70s to the present day. The reader is steeped in her distinct personal symbology—a poetic world bursting with animal and plant life, ubiquitous water and sky, fragmented bodies, houses, and cities, and glimpses of tribal communities against the antithetical contemporary American society. Also like entering a Paleolithic … chop! chop! read more!