Read Dark Blonde: Poems by Belle Waring Online


Waring has worked as a neo-natal intensive care nurse and as Writer-in-Residence at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Her first collection of poetry, Refuge, won the Associated Writing Program's Award for Poetry in 1989, the Washington Prize in 1991, and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990. Her second collection Dark Blonde rWaring has worked as a neo-natal intensive care nurse and as Writer-in-Residence at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Her first collection of poetry, Refuge, won the Associated Writing Program's Award for Poetry in 1989, the Washington Prize in 1991, and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990. Her second collection Dark Blonde received the San Francisco Poetry Center Poetry Prize and the Larry Levis Reading Prize in 1997. It was published by Louisville's Sarabande Books."Drawing from her work as a neonatal nurse and from some more common experiences (e.g. nervous breakdowns, incest and poverty), Waring exhibits the street-smart ear and unflinching eye that made her first collection, Refuge, one of PW's Best Books of 1990. The images and headlong rhythms of these new poems exert a wide-ranging, often irresistible pull."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Waring creates a voice that we feel we can trust to lead us to the center of an experience, maybe because her language never feels artificial but seems to grow naturally out of the situation it presents. The remarkable range of subjects and characters in Waring's poems leads to an equally remarkable variety of tones and vocabularies."-Word House, Baltimore's Literary Calendar"When Belle Waring reads her poetry, the jazz-inflected words escape her mouth like a Lester Young solo: quietly, melodically, forcefully. . . . she provides weight to each short line, drawing out her words like sensuous kisses. Her work is also punctuated with politics and humor."-D.C. City Paper"Poetry, Robert Frost once said, is a way of taking life by the throat. It is in this tradition that poet and nurse Belle Waring approaches her craft-seizing difficult subjects and holding them in time. . . . "-SalonWaring has written a collection that doesn't renege on us the promise of her first book and indeed has honed her craft to include a wider range of tonal shifts and allow for a finer lyricism while not losing the syncopated snap and humor of her earlier voice."-Indiana Review...

Title : Dark Blonde: Poems
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781889330082
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 88 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dark Blonde: Poems Reviews

  • Jen
    2018-10-13 21:00

    This book was published in 1997. It was Waring's second book and a search on the internet leads me to believe it was her last. She is not even represented on the Poetry Foundation website or This is such a shame. It's a shame to see someone with talent and something worth saying stop writing. "Gripping" is not a word I would normally use to describe poetry but that word came to mind as I read through this book. These poems contain tension and suspense. Waring worked as a nurse and many of these poems are about the fight for life, whether keeping a body alive, or one's emotions or a relationship. The most gripping poem, "The Forgery," actually does have a place on the internet here: It's a book full of tragedy and bravado and outrage. Here's another example:ShotsThree nurses to hold him, this four-year-old who kicks mecrazy in the belly--six months pregnant but ha!I've got the needle--the Measles-Mumps-Rubella.Child, it stings like hell.Listen to me, my little immunized enemy--I'll take a bruise from youbefore I'll see another kid like the one carried through the clinic doorsat the end of shift in his father's arms, seizingseizingThe father's shirt isblack with sweatis praying in Mexicangrand mal, I try to get a line in, Mother of God, intractableGet him over to St. Luke'sbut in the ambulance, he codes, and then, in the ERwith the furious swirl of personnel, crash cart rumbling up, curtainssnatched to shield him from the drive-bys and the drunks, the boy expired.Measles encephalitis.He never got his shots.So walk out, dark blonde, into the sun that will scald you redand bleach your hair to tungsten burning, drive the dusty valley smacked withirrigated fields. Bad counterfeit. Too green.His young bones green, unripe, gronjofrom the old Teutonic root--Green. Untrained. Green. Freshly killed.His young bones green and full of marrow.Green at work there in the rows, hands stretched out to pick a beefsteak tomato at the end of season when they strip the plants clean whether the fruit is ripe or not.I recommend anyone buy this book if they find it because it's worthwhile and this poet is in danger of being forgotten.

  • Writer's Relief
    2018-09-21 23:58

    Waring does not reflect on her emotions and present them in a neat little package. These poems are tumultuous and full of heat and rage. Her poetry is a battering ram to the heart, begging to be felt and understood. Many poets compose careful, precise language to surround an otherwise unexciting topic. There is something to be said for concocting a beautiful, enjoyable-to-read poem around a flower, bowl of fruit, or rainbow trout. But Belle Waring is not that poet, and DARK BLONDE is not that peaceful collection you’ll want to read sipping chamomile tea. Many of the poems in this collection describe cruel, tragic, and even criminal events to which she bears witness in grief; in anger; with a conscience that cannot be silenced. Instead of stepping back and taking the observational standpoint, we are right inside her head with her. I have never read another poet who could write such in-the-moment, raging, undiluted emotion and yet never come across as juvenile or unpolished. I highly recommend this book to any lover of poetry.

  • Nina
    2018-10-10 22:55

    Reading Waring's poems is like listening to jazz-the words tumble forth, they slide and glide, tension builds.

  • Sarabande Books
    2018-10-05 00:06

    Winner of the First Annual Larry Levis Reading Prize and the 1997 Poetry Center Book AwardRecipient of the 1997 Poetry Center Book Award (SFSU) and the First Annual Levis Reading Prize

  • Alana
    2018-10-03 04:05

    Persona poems; difficult to read at times as a collection because of the entrance/ exit of the speakers

  • Robin
    2018-09-22 20:01

    This collection was given to me as a birthday present and I have to say that I really enjoyed it - it was very visceral in a lot of places, focusing on a lot of medical scenarios and historical scenarios that peeled away to a deeper tenderness and poetic examination of life and loss. I loved that the work itself seemed almost conversational, narrative more than poetic, but still truly a work of poetry - it seemed less lost in poetic cliche or the weaving of images, and more like having a conversation with someone who sees the world very differently from you but still managing to connect and make sense. ETA, October 2016: The idea of witness poetry is something I really gravitate towards - the ethics of telling other people's stories, especially when it's a painful story. In this case, Waring spends a lot of poems looking at children's suffering, and the cruelty of that, as well as the feelings of hopelessness as a nurse. Waring's writing is truly devastating and beautifully crafted. That she is not more well known is truly a shame.

  • SmarterLilac
    2018-10-07 00:09

    I first read this magical, almost overwhelming book in the summer of 2004, a time when I was more vulnerable than ever before to the topics this book addresses--the misogyny and cruelty of the American healthcare system, poverty, oppression, the mortality of every person. Ah, memories. Kind it isn't, but Dark Blonde opened my eyes like never before to what poetry could do to make readers care about the problems we most want to avoid. How Belle Waring even managed to write these pieces is beyond me, let alone write them in such a way as to keep the reader fully engaged, alive to their message.

  • Antonia
    2018-10-16 21:17

    This is powerful writing. Tough and tender. Many of these poems deal with difficult, even shocking, subject matter. The voice is authentic, the language natural but intense. Amazing vocabulary. Literate. Jazzy. Informed by hard times, Some very gritty tales from the hospital (the narrator — and the author — is a nurse).Nobody gets off easy — not the damaged, not the irresponsible and sometimes brutal perpetrators, not the observer (often a participant). Belle Waring — oh, where is she now? I hope she’s writing.

  • Christine
    2018-10-21 01:15

    Hands down my favorite contemporary poet, Belle Waring tackles all kinds of stuff - teaching, working as a nurse, heartbreak, depression, alcoholic dads and feral children - with a jazzy intelligent coolness. I admit: I've ripped her off unabashedly in my own poetry.

  • Hillbrooks
    2018-10-14 20:03

    Simply said, Waring is my favorite female poet.

  • Sheri Mcclure baker
    2018-10-14 20:15

    This may be my favorite book of poems. Waring's easy voice makes the painful and the beautiful accessible to us all.

  • Julene
    2018-09-30 21:50

    Read this book years ago and it is one of my favorite poetry books. She is a nurse and has some poignant professional poems that nurses love to share about their work.

  • Cindy Cunningham
    2018-09-28 01:09

    I love this poet--Greg Donovan turned me onto her about ten years ago and I keep hoping she'll write more. She is a nurse who writes poetry and her language and subject matter inspires me.

  • Lauren Short
    2018-09-27 03:19

    Many of the medical-themed poems were wonderful. It made me wish the collection were more focused as a whole on that subject.