Iovis: All is Full of Jove
1993 • 256 pages • ISBN: 978-1566890052 • $15.95
Finalist, Colorado Book Award for Poetry, 1994.
“She’s the fastest, wisest woman to run with the wolves in some time.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“This is a poem of rare ambition, scope, and mastery… A considerable statement of the independence and equality of women.”
—The Bloomsbury Review
An “open system” epic consisting of 23 “self-organizing” sections, Iovis (“All is full of Jove”) attempts to fuse numerous “leitmotifs”: dreams and out-of-body experiences; fathers and sons (Waldman’s father fought in World War II, and she studies religion with her son in Bali); gurus (John Cage, Jack Kerouac, and the Dalai Lama); men, or “seed syllables” (“the male gods take over as electricity and dynamite”); women (“I covered myself with the black silk chador better/ to hide this pulsating body of desire”); political concerns (arms control and human rights); shape-shifting and voices (“What is this identification with young men? Are they playful tricksters inside the hag?”); travel (she is almost killed by a terrorist attack in Rome); and opaque occult and heavy-metal imagery (she once “nibbled” psychotropic drugs). This ambitious attempt by our most exuberant performance poet to write a New Age “cohesive landscape” provides many pleasures but little contentment. It would be best heard aloud.
—Library Journal, Frank Allen, West Virginia State College