Some poets leave little room for doubt as to what they mean to create. Others like Ms. Devries prefer a more abstract approach - composing in a way that leaves the reader to add his or her own interpretation of thoughts only hinted at. Reading these authors can be difficult at first. It takes an absorbing of the whole before the meaning in each individual piece is extractable - as well as the understanding that in this form the art is not in what is said, but rather in what is left unsaid.
Does that confuse you? Me too, a little. Being male, I admit a natural preference for the former approach, but poets such as Ms. Devries do occasionally touch that other side of me. During my first reading I traveled this little volume in small doses, a page or two a day. I found the volume fit the scheme well; the pieces are short, rarely more than a dozen or two lines, there's a neat bookmarker photo featuring the author wearing a pensive expression - just the kind that makes you wonder, "what is she thinking?"
On the second read-through, around page fifty if I recall, a few lines appeared that set me to reflecting on my own condition. After that there began to be others, and although this work is aimed at women (collectively, there are enough references to the author's lifestyle to make clear where her attention is centered), I will continue reading until I've found them all. We are the products of our childhoods, and it seems to me I've spent most of my adult life trying to throw off some of the things pounded into me as I came up. Eventually, male or female, we either reach equilibrium or we don't. I think Gambler's Daughter is the author saying she's reached hers, and in reading her, I'm thinking I might even be closer now myself.
Art Tirrell - author of The Secret Ever Keeps, ISBN978-1-60164-004-8, coming April 2007.