Georgia Scott
The Penny Bride

March 2004. 120 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-17-6; ISBN-10 3-901993-17-7
£10.50 (+ 2.00 p&p), €13.00 (+ 2.50 p&p), US$ 18.00 (+ 3.00 p&p)

The Penny Bride has a [...] complex skein of themes and imagery, but continues to hold her sense of a European past, and the complexities of her own mixed inheritance: Greek immigrant grand-parents, Boston education, Eastern European understanding. In this new book these legacies have become the means by which she can develop a new theme: erotic love. In tender, pungent lyrics of great delicacy, sexual acts are called up into our own thoughts, rather than in explicit description on the page. Slow-paced and often literal, she works with propositions, rather as in the Hebrew poetry of the Song of Solomon. [...] If Scott's subject matter is emotionally charged with Europe, her means are often American. Her techniques have developed since The Good Wife and now she is able to risk everything on the quiet music of her lines. She has a feeling for pause and hesitation which is drawn from American poetry. [...] All through the book, she has savoured the kind of love that produces "swarthy sons / not half the dinner bill." ("Call In the Pirates"). The Penny Bride is a true love song, not common in our contemporary culture, and finally, not so much a personal record as a tribute to passion itself.

Elaine Feinstein, Foreword to The Penny Bride

"Georgia Scott's second book with Poetry Salzburg is immediately arresting. The crisp, unadorned black and white cover includes a partially shadowed photograph of a lean woman's torso, naked except for black bikini underwear she appears to be removing slowly. The image summons forth poems of eroticism, adultery, submission, and sensual pleasure. But to label Scott as mere love poet undermines her versatile poetic oeuvre. [...] Her first-person speakers celebrate sensuality, often in apostrophe to an absent lover - "Your love is food enough for me. / I don't need to dine on more." Scott is clever and mischievious, as when she imagines herself as a pinball machine played masterfully by a lover, and when she equates lovemaking with the writing process in "On the Desk." And when she juxtaposes the mystical and sexual in "Nazarenes", she poses the carnal as a spiritual wonder born of night. [...] Her gift is the ability to write emotionally and artistically accessible poems as she moves through sex, masturbation, middle age, pregnancy, anorexia, deceased parents, and memory loss, amongst other topics. [...] a delightful book."

Michael Dowdy. Oyster Boy Review 19 (Special Supplement; Summer 2011): 15-16.


Excerpts from The Penny Bride
 

Taibele's Diary

I.
The first time,
he rushed like an exodus into my desert.

The second time,
he raged like floodwater up my shore.

The third time,
he played like a Purim jester.

II.
Winter now and snow up to the windows.
Everyone complains but me.

Caught myself singing again today.
Got to be careful or there'll be talk.

Closed up early so I could wash my hair.
Such a length since he first touched it.

Tomorrow, I'll wear a wig like the other women.
But tonight, I'll lie by the fire.

Oh, my toes curl for wanting him.
It is the Sabbath.

Where is he?
 

from "Songs to Hurmizah"

I.
When I wake and find the trees topped with snow

I remember
how you first tasted

melting
bursts
of snowflakes

as you pulsed

your dark sky above
my open mouth.

V.
I love you best without adornment
your fingers in my hair,

dressed only in your nakedness
no jewels but your hands.

I love you best without a title
lover, friend or wife.

I love you best without explaining
how I love or why.

I love you best without tomorrows
or yesterdays to keep,

bound by your arms not promises
nights when we need no sleep.


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