Self-Portrait with Thorns
Gail Goepfert’s ravishing collection, Self-Portrait with Thorns, stands as stunning testimony to the power of art to salve the wounded and to serve as a durable filament connecting us one to another across the chasms of time, space, and circumstance. These poems join in lyrical conversation with the life and paintings of Frida Kahlo, the mirrored pains and losses of Kahlo and the speaker having tuned these women’s instruments to the same pitch. In poems rapturous and drenched in vivid imagery, Kahlo’s colors are as clear and bright as voices, ringing in the poet’s mouth. Self-Portrait with Thorns is a book of injury, of suffering, but it is also, ultimately, a book of empowerment celebrating how a woman bears her own life and then pulls it, lusty and wailing, into the light.
—Francesca Bell, author of Bright Stain