Book Review: The Lost Tribe of Us
In The Lost Tribe of Us, Heather Davis offers her readers vivid, occasionally comic, more often gut-wrenching poems that, in the first part of the book, engage with the lives of members of a large family-all the vulnerabilities and pathos of poverty: repossessed cars, joblessness, leaky roofs, too small houses, second-hand clothing and teen-age pregnancy. Later, the scope of the poems widens to include aspects of the world at large: war, terrorism, rape, imprisonment, incest, mental illness, much of what troubled flesh is heir to. But to say simply that the poems are about big subjects that really matter is not to do them justice. They are invariably characterized by exquisite formal control, the always lovely deployment of language that is a delight to the eye and ear. The Lost Tribe of Us is a wonderful first book by an exceptionally gifted poet.