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Fresh First Poetry Collection Draws on Women of Myth

Guest Post by Rebecca Moon Ruark

“Eve, / How often do you think of me? / the house now, the kids, and / Everyone needs to eat, I know how tired / You are to mother the world”— “Oh” from The Desperate Measure of Undoing: Poems by Jessica Fischoff

Poetry is meant to be read aloud, preferably to an in-person audience. Luckily, one of the last live poetry readings I attended pre-pandemic featured Jessica Fischoff reading from her poetry chapbook.

The Desperate Measure of Undoing: Poems is a little book with big impact. Fischoff’s poems borrow from women of myth but are their own unique creations. The poet plays with persona, writing her poem, “Oh,” quoted above, not from Eve’s perspective but from that of the serpent. In a recent interview, Fischoff told me that “Oh” came from a prompt to write from the perspective of a villain. The poem reads as a letter from the serpent, who has been abandoned in the garden by Eve, and grants age-old Eve new agency and power.

There is a lot to admire in this chapbook that explores the feminine through the ages and through fresh takes. Original cover art and flower-illustrated front and back pages complement the poems and provide the reader a garden-like respite from our world’s current situation.

Read more about Fischoff and her debut poetry chapbook in a new interview at Parhelion Literary Magazine.

The Desperate Measure of Undoing by Jessica Fischoff. Across the Margin, 2019.

Reviewer bio: Rebecca Moon Ruark is features editor for Parhelion Literary Magazine, which publishes features, along with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in winter, summer, and fall issues.

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