Iovis: All is Full of Jove

iovis-jove1993 • 256 pages • ISBN: 978-1566890052 • $15.95

Coffee House Press

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