Wife of Light book















"Her best poems keep bursting the prescribed limits of the pages on which they are printed in the same way that great paintings burst their frames. Ackerman has energy. She also has wit, courage and  this is rare  passion. The strength of her poems is that her response to her subjects is total. All of her is in each poem,  and this all reveals a woman of sensitivity, restraint, ingenuity, and passionate daring."  The Hudson Review




"The basic strength of this book lies in the author's astute ear for language, and the obvious intelligence with which she employs her talent. Most of the poems move so quickly that the reader barely knows what hit him; brilliant imagistic flashes, often one on top of the other, give credence to statements that would seem hackneyed elsewhere, as in "New House": "... Now, suddenly I've acquired someone's/life, as if it were a fondue pot/or a hedge cutter. His initial/still rules the hall linoleum..." The poems are buoyed by an irreverence that undercuts the academic knowledge from which Ackerman draws her details ("Mama's just blown in from Egypt,/full of mummy-lore, mishap,/river life, and beggars;/ toting quietly-hued soapstone, scarabs...") and the razor-sharp, deliberately-placed quality of almost every word. Even a list of objects is made interesting by the movement of sounds within it. Unless her virtuosity overwhelms her vision, Ackerman — who made an auspicious debut with The Planets (1976) — should become a poet to be reckoned with."  Kirkus Review