Review of Millicent Borges Accardi’s “Woman on a Shaky Bridge”

WOMAN ON A SHAKY BRIDGE by Millicent Borges Accardi

(Review published in Rattle, 2010)

In “On a Theme by William Stafford,” the first poem from Millicent Borges Accardi’s chapbook, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, the speaker begins,

If I could be like Wallace Stevens,
I’d fold my clothes into the bureau
drawer instead of living
from a suitcase.

Unlike Stevens, a poet who’s imagined here as transient, the speaker wants “really [to] move / in.” She’s also able “to open the window for / the neighbors” to be seen as well as to see for herself; she’s in essence settled yet open to experience outside of the room. She observes and participates in the world of experience (outside of the imagination) while at the same time responds with the imagination “so that even the last bite contained / both cone and cream,” alluding to Stevens, the “emperor” of the imagination.

The poems in this chapbook are both…