"Stonecipher gives her poems both the texture and the structure of a continuous meditation on her own best, strongest, or prettiest memories . . . Stonecipher spent part of her youth in Teheran, and some of her twenties in the Czech Republic. Unsurprisingly, she enjoys writing about place; ultimately, though, all her poems are meditative, inward, remotely Proustian."
"Her unusual style and skillfully turned language, applied to a range of women's secrets, make this collection a read that is both compelling and haunting, and one to which readers will wish to return many times."
"Life on several continents, sexual passion and intellective experience among the recesses of language produce the unique prose poems in Donna Stonecipher's The Reservoir. Residence in Teheran, Prague, Seattle and Iowa—and study of prose-poem masters from St. John Perse to Killarney Clary—inform the inviting reflections and meditations in Stonecipher's volume."
"Anything seen through an arch is instantly picturesque," declares the first line of "Album." Form renders meaning and makes beauty possible, and yet the arch is an artificial imposition on the scene. Likewise, birds, butterflies, and a swan flit through the poems, symbols of the artifice of ornamentation that dazzles in the distance but disappoints upon closer inspection; in these poems, a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.
It is the reservoir, artificial but functional, beautiful only incidentally, that, "placid through the seasons, may save us." The union of narrative (function) and lyricism (beauty) in the reservoir, both reserving and reserved, results in poems that have much to tell, and even more to hold in, leaving the reader with the impression of secrets partly revealed, partly kept in reserve as mercurial lifeblood.
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