Beginning with O

Olga Broumas; Foreword by Stanley Kunitz

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"This is a book of letting go, of wild avowals, unabashed eroticism; at the same time it is a work of integral imagination, steeped in the light of Greek myth that is part of the poet's heritage and imbued with an intuitive sense of dramatic conflicts and resolutions, high style, and musical form."—Stanley Kunitz

"[The] special area of embarrassment between women, now that they're exhorted, to love each other (how literally?) is something that hasn't been written about much. She catches it very exactly—the cautious flirtations, the way desire or its absence cut across the vestal cosiness of feminism and introduce a rough edge of resentment. . . . She can write. She comes out of a fertile and invigorating context, full of ideas, formal as well as political."—Lorna Sage, Times Literary Supplement

"Yale's Younger Poet this year was first-rate. . . . She shows an excellent young poet's joy in words, in gorgeous rhythms, in images fixed on the mind's eye with a printmaker's permanence. . . . Her psychic revolution takes sexuality as its vehicle, or perhaps as its highway, but the goal is self-exploration; not vehicle or highway but river or mountain is its goal—a universal landscape."—Atlantic Monthly

"In Beginning with O, Olga Broumas gives us a strengthening and exciting poetry, a poetry of intelligence and passion. This book is a vital contribution to the tradition of woman-identified writing."—Alice Bloch, Chrysallis No. 4

"Broumas combines a subtle sense of language, a musical sense of rhythm, a painterly sense of imagery, and an architectural sense of structure into a beautiful sequence of poems. This is an excellent first book, as fine a testament to Stanley Kunitz's critical sense as it is to Olga Broumas's promising future."—The Ohio Review

"The current winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets is a real winner. This first volume by Olga Broumas is strong feminist poetry. Many poems speak of the varieties of women's loving feelings toward each other. The opening section, "Twelve aspects of God," contains 12 poems concerned with female forms of the godhead. Other poems deal with fairy tales transformed à la Sexton, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. A number of poems, however, contain no such external focus and are direct statements of Broumas's concerns. Throughout the book, her voice remains strong and clear. A powerful first collection and well worth purchasing for any poetry collection concerned with current writing."—Choice

"Olga Broumas in her first volume joins the best American poets and good poets everywhere in searching for a new language that works to suggest and liberate—in a world of commerce, armaments, fear of strangers, and little knowledge of the self—the human spirit in its most honest, loving, and compelling form."—Jay Williams, Northwest Review

"Broumas's exquisite working of the formidable archetypes she chooses results in poems whose joy cannot be diffused and whose venom cannot be evaded."—Mary Moundros Greene, Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora

"One of the themes of Olga Broumas' fine collection of poems, Beginning With O, is the inability of language to effectively communicate experience, but of the crucial necessity of searching out images, sounds—songs—which come close. In these poems she tries to make a language inclusive enough to enable her first to apprehend her own experience, and then to shape that experience in such a way that it can be shared. Her poems speak of things as they are, not as they 'should be'; she writes with direct and uncompromising clarity because she chooses to conceal nothing. Her work vibrates with the urgency of her search for the most precise, and therefore, the most powerful words."—The American Poetry Review
ISBN: 9780300021066
Publication Date: September 10, 1977
87 pages, 5.5 x 8
Beginning with O

Olga Broumas; Foreword by Stanley Kunitz

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