Widow’s Quilt

The Widow’s Quilt: Poems
By Fran Castan; Introduction by William Matthews

Maturity and experience earmark this first collection by a woman who didn’t begin writing poetry until after age 40. The young bride of a reporter killed in Vietnam, her movement from not-so-innocent daughter of a gambling father to ecstatic bride and sudden widow is presented in lyrical, memorable imagery. This is not a poet used to comfort. Hiding under a living-room chair, she eavesdrops on her parents’ conversation: “My father says he only/ borrowed the money/ from the cash drawer/ just for an hour during lunch.” Later, she lies down beside her husband’s grave, using their double stone for a headboard. As striking as these poems are, they’re carried by content, not craft. When dealing with the more mundane aspects of a resuscitated life, Castan’s poems become prosaic and her imagery drawn from sentiment rather than transcended pain. “We embrace with death/ shimmering in our hair,” she writes in a poem to her second husband. Readers will hope that Castan’s next collection demonstrates the growth of her unique poetic strengths.

Publisher: Canios Editions; First Edition (January 1, 1996)
Language: English
Paperback: 64 pages
ISBN: 9781886435049


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