Ariana Olisvos

Her Last Works and Days


"These verses deal with beasts and flowers and with god and other poets and the worm-in-the-flesh-before-it-dies" --Ariana Vanessa McAnn Keller Olisvos (1881-1975)

A poem on her ninety-second birthday, a letter to her daughter,and reveries of lost days are some of the markings in Ariana Olisvos: Her Last Works and Days. In these lyrical "works," mystery prevails, ghosts and memories linger, and in the end, we are left with only Ariana speaking about the book and herself and her death.

"...as to biographical information, my verses are wormy with it, and I feel enough like a 'broken bundle of mirrors' that only random glints and splinters of my life catch my eye long enough to seem worth talking of....I am not what I seem, any more than you are. Like everyone else, I am being tortured to death. Everything's been written down and I've become (quite deliberately) hard, ungenerous, crueler than I'd thought ever to be. Ninety-some various delicious years have taught me very little, but at least I no longer expect, even by crossing my path with jests and contradictions, to jam the truth into a sentence."

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