'The Forage House,' by Tess Taylor
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
The Forage HouseBy Tess Taylor(Red Hen Press; 83 pages; $17.95 paperback)Personal history and American history become intertwined in "The Forage House," the stunning debut collection by Bay Area poet Tess Taylor.
The most fascinating biographical fact about Taylor is not that she can trace her ancestry all the way back, directly, to Thomas Jefferson; it is her eloquent, thoughtful response to this grand lineage, as she investigates (among other themes) questions about perception, memory, loss and fractured families.
[...] all stories seem to remain unfinished, with questions left hanging in the air.
Addressing Jefferson directly in the haunting A Letter to Jefferson From Monticello, Taylor writes, Here's your garden:/ marrow peas asparagus/ & nubbed beginnings/ of the scarlet runner bean./ I still hear schoolchildren asking/ why you needed slaves to grow them./ O great rhetorician, tell me:
San Francisco Chronicle article