Review of Diana Marie Delgado’s “Tracing the Horse”

(Review published in The Colorado Review, July 2020)

In her strong, debut poetry collection, Tracing the Horse, Diana Marie Delgado comes to terms with cultural forces that limit her, especially those of machismo—as in “Songs of Escape” where “Men are the only islands / I’ve ever lived on. / I’ll never get away.” Delgado, though, doesn’t back down. Starting in the first poem “Little Swan,” the speaker-poet has this urge “to understand the drive // to hurt something young, / wild with sky.” There’s this insatiable curiosity about violence and violation, which is inherent in this masculine world.

There’s lovely varied pacing in this book, which is its one of its strengths. Almost half the poems are compact yet spacious with one or two-line stanzas, and they usually spark in the fireworks of emotional and linguistic resonance, such as in…

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