Love Makes Thinking Dark_2Details
Publisher : United Artists Books; 1st Edition
Publication Date : January 1, 1995
ISBN : 9780935992038
Category : Poetry, Poems
Product Dimensions : 0.5 x 6 x 8.2 inches
Paperback : 84 pages
Cover Art : Miranda Maher

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A linguistic funhouse of prose and verse poems where body, language, memory, family/pronoun romance and specklings of body/text speculations merge and undercut, informing and undermining each urgent declarative. . . “Fabric Reins” is an exhilarating example of loosing language via form’s constraint. A range of images and phrases recycle throughout the pece shifting through oulipo-like twists and grammatical transpositions that dynamize an ostensibly simple sequence of events.  Dan Featherston. Specters and Spectacles. Sulfur, Fall 1996

Barbara Henning’s deep and quirky knowledge of the human soul–especially woman’s soul–brings us to a simultaneous exploration of the outise and the inside, Self and Other: the macrocosm and microcosm of the alchemists. She takes us far, and so skillfully that we are glad to let her do it.–Diana di Prima

If men are from Mars and women from Venus, how have we arrived on this blue and green planet, complete with sexual historis and aching with compliants? Barbara Henning’s poetry registers the implosion of emotion, graphs the entropy of relationships. The verse and prose poems in Love Makes Thinking Dark are disjunctive meditations composed of pithy non sequiturs motivated by quirks of logic, love, and language. Conventions, anomalies, and violations of grammar, semantics, and syntax are duly noted along with the deadening routine, curious estrangement, and everyday violence of mothers and fathers, daughters and lovers whose significance to one another erodes in relentlessly paratactic sentences. The grammar of parallel lines and parallel lives puts the “natural” isochrony of American English utterances in service of verses, lines, and sentence fragments tense with the “normal” stresses of lives under pressure. Each page, “a postcard with a prosy style,” revelas a deconstructed grammar of passion and loss. –Harryette Mullen.

Not since the Metaphysical Poets have there been love poems like these–assembled from a tantalizing collection of analytic lyricism, philosophical speculation and wickedly witty word play. In politics, as well as poetics, Henning cuts across categories with surprising andpleasurable results. By turns piercingly direct and oblique, these poems glow darkly in the mind.–Elaine Equi

So effective for its tough confessions and consciousness, Henning’s is a late art that has the pride of both presupposing a century of writing in it’s objective approach to highly subjective material,and of the idea that confession can be a means of concealment, that confessional “truth” is often the most abstract requisition, a seduction of the senses for the self. Robert Hale. Love Makes Thinking Dark. Poetry Project Newsletter. December/January 1995.

The Passion of Signs was a chapbook published by Leave Books in 1994.  With a drawing by Georgia Marsh. The poems were subsequently included in Love Makes Thinking Dark. A review by Mark Wallace. Taproot Reviews #7/8. 1996.

J.E. Mason. “The Alchemist’s Bedroom: Poet Turns Lead of Everyday into Gold of Art.” Casco Bay Weekly: Journal of News, Art and Opinion. Portland, Me (Apr 15, 1993).  

Hale, Robert. Review of Love Makes Thinking Dark. In Poetry Project Newsletter (December/January 1995).

Featherston, Dan. “Specters and Spectacles.” Review of Love Makes Thinking Dark. In Sulfur (Fall 1996).

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