Most of Jane Shore's poems in That said appeal with their non-jarring shock value of their novelty in terms of subject matter.
Her three line stanza, short line poems almost never work.
In `The Russian doll' title lent to cover photo poem, we see amorphous thoughts put into words snug just like doll inside a doll.
In `Tender acre', by using the word `bargello' for the patterns on a snake, she is the poet whose eternal task is to get the right word for a thing.
There are vague references to fairy tales and folk tales in some of her poems.But fairy tales make a direct reference in a poem where the poet plays out all the stories with her daughter. I like the series of poems in which she writes about her daughter. Especially in `the sound of sense', recognizing her daughter's learning to read as the sounding of various meter elements again shows her poet eye/ear.
From here on, the poems star her family members. Within the everydayness of the poems are experiences which the readers can relate to in different stages of life. Sometimes the endings - like one of her toy going mute while she grows up finding her voice - offer boomerang twists to the poem.
There are many things a beginner poet can learn from these poems. Her expression of a feeling in an anti-feeling holds the tension of the conflict on the page. In 'sh-t soup' poem the metaphors are not just limited to linking two words but the whole poem - recipe of a dish to that of a life.
when she writes 'A voice called out "This is your room.This is your bed"' in 'dream city' poem, I feel pushed to find out the voice of every inanimate thing, not an inanimate voice but lively with inflection.
In one of the poems she describes fortune cookies as lips with the white paper as a tongue. This reminded of the 'oracle'. Such coincidental extensions leave the readers with possibilities of extending every metaphor they meet.