Tremolo : Poems, by Derry, Alice
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- ISBN: 9781597092326 | 1597092320
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 9/1/2012
Tremolocan be contained in the line from Theodore Roethke's villanelle, "The Waking": "This shaking keeps me steady. I should know." In music, tremolo describes notes which are repeated in time, as opposed to trill, notes which stand outside the composition's basic beat. In the same way, our lives often cannot "claim their own space," but are forced to fit circumstance. The effect is tremulous: we are full of trembling, easily shaken. The book journeys through terrain where the speaker must accept what she's given: a mother's death, a daughter's leaving home, a father's dementia, a life compromised by war, prejudice, and violence, the myriad fearful situations of each day. The poems search for safety, ultimately understanding that the steadiness the speaker knows comes from taking the path in front of her, fully embracing her trembling. The wisdom of these poems is garnered from journeys the speaker fears, but must undertake. As Roethke writes, "I learn by going where I have to go."