Lorna Knowles Blake
Reviews of Permanent Address
Daughter, wife, mother, bilingual cosmopolite, Lorna Knowles Blake understands from the inside "dulce de leche," teenage girls, and closing a summer house. But there's another kind of inwardness here, as Blake is drawn by memories and dreams into a private realm weighted with unsettling wisdom. "Ordinary?" asks one poem, "What does it mean?" The poems in Permanent Address encourage us to find answers to this deceptively mild question.
Author of Questions in the Vestibule
"Oh, deliver me from the familiar,/from the old maps and their destinations/that are pre-destinations, nothing more." In this first collection, Blake has found her own way to answer her prayer: she confronts the ordinary in her life and changes its course, its importance, through keen consideration and well-chosen words. Blake's skills rest not only in her blend of colloquial and exacting diction with a sharp ear and enticing music but also in her delightful way of seeing the everyday: "Love will pitch a tent anywhere ..../Marriage vows to build a home." The new bride in her new Eden, shopping the aisles and naming the incidentals for house and family, is a lot like Eve, who "knew the word fruit/but not its implications." The answer to Blake's prayer is not as simple as it might appear, though. Daughter, wife, mother: this is a web in which it is difficult to move about. Ultimately, this collection celebrates the charm and grace that belong to domestic life, the world in which love has built its house. A smart and thoughtful collection; highly recommended.
—Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Center,
Philadelphia, PA Library Journal