Jason the Sailor
Since the publication of her first book, COINS AND COFFINS, in 1962, Diane Wakoski’s poetry has always included an inventive amalgam of personal mythology with vivid imagery and lyric language. In MEDEA THE SORCERESS and JASON THE SAILOR, Wakoski has begun to explore a hybrid form, a logical extension of her previous interests, creating a kind of evolving personal epic in which poems are interlinked with letters, journal entries, and quotes from a book by Nick Herbert, QUANTUM REALITY: BEYOND THE NEW PHYSICS (1985), to produce a characteristically original response to cultural phenomena and individual perception. The thrust of Herbert’s study is that “There is no deep reality,” and Wakoski uses this position to examine the circumstances of her life in terms of a poetic creation of multiple realities which illuminate relationships, emotions, and the power of art to invest existence with some meaning or significance.
In spite of the philosophical framework operating around and through the volumes in the sequence THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MOVIES AND BOOKS, Wakoski’s unabashed romantic intensity, her openness about her feelings and concerns, and her invitingly conversational tone in the prose entries and the poems give both of the books a congenial feeling and an appealingly disarming voice. Wakoski has often transmuted her own experience into an intricate mythology of fantasy and imagination, using such figures as “George Washington,” “The King of...
(The entire section is 418 words.)