Monday, March 25, 2013
Pro Femina by Carolyn Kizer (2000)
BkMk Press/University of Missouri Press
I have seen many copies of this chapbook around and while not really enjoying the cover, I have thought it important enough to mention here. Probably not surprisingly there are no review of this chapbook on Amazon; after all, who reviews chapbooks?
This one has a bit of history to it that ought to be brought out. There are 5 parts to this piece and they had not been published together in 35 years. This 30 page chapbook represents a period of time when Feminism was emerging in the US and women were still feeling their way. Kizer wrote part of this piece as an homage to Fanny Stevenson, the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson, and noting the years she spent in his shadow; caring for him, etc.
There is a depth in these 30 pages that belie the thinness of the work. It is merely thin in number, not in substance. It's worth a careful reading.