She Had This Memory

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"Jan Schmidt’s poems shimmer around the contours of female bodies, knowing, intimate, separate, life light. . . . every reader of She Had This Memory will at some subconscious point replace the She with I. Schmidt’s superb craftsmanship enables such sharing by means of compelling rhythms, tough yet sensitive diction, images so ‘right’ they startle, brilliant negotiation of the poetic line. When, for one small example, I read ‘a woman scrubbing the cold/round stones’ feeling with her not only the temperature and texture of stones but also of the space around them, I know I am in good hands." Clarinda Harriss

"‘Dark’, ‘a deepening pool’, ‘loss’, ‘a stirring of wings’, these words haunt these poems like motifs, in bright recurrent flashes. They are part of today’s great radical exploration and point sharp questions: what is a human being? How do you possess yourself? Jan Schmidt searches many places of myth, dream, invention, recalled experience. The answers she finds are wonderfully telling and concrete. A few are framed in prose poems; more are composed in brief free verse lines, with a quick intense music like that of H. D. All of them shine with the heightened attention poetry affords." Marie Ponsot

"In She Had This Memory, the author confronts rediscovered ordeals with new depth and cogency." Alfred Corn

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