To Fall Fable

“Before Paradise Eve lived with her sisters, the ribs,” begins the poem Parable (I) in Alice Wickenden’s chapbook To Fall Fable, and this enchanting image made me smile. Yet, it also signals a coming darkness, where sisterhood is disrupted to satisfy God and man. “Won’t it be lonely?” Eve asks. And for the women in the collection’s poems, it often is, with the natural world and opposite sex sources of both attraction and betrayal. The “yellow roses in the sun” are beautiful but also “sneering.” The hurt is clear in the title of the poem A Prayer, That You Might Remember Taking My Virginity. Wickenden ends with a crown of sonnets that shows how the abused remain entangled with their abuser long after the violent mistreatment occurs. It is a stunning finale to a journey through a magical world simultaneously lovely and full of thorns. To Fall Fable can be purchased here.

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