“All the Naked Daughters” Anna Kisby (Against the Grain) – poetry review

Emma Lee's Blog

Anna Kisby All the Naked Daughters book coverThe title poem in this pamphlet of 20 poems has a daughter asking her mother, “where are the pubes?” in a gallery of paintings of nude women and the mother’s answer about a male gaze feeling inadequate to a daughter who is also a woman. It sets the tone for a questioning of how women are depicted, the gap between image and reality and the impact of that gap. The opening poem, “The Fallen Alices” juxtaposes the publication of “Alice in Wonderland” against reports of female suicides in the Thames river,

“Of all the stories told by the Thames this is ours:
we are the curious, the questing, the covetous, the lost,
we are the girls who never grow up. We are hanging
from bridges because the river listens to our petitions.
We are flower-selling under arches, distracted by the ticking
of this gentleman’s fine pocket-watch, we will follow him…

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