Poetry Review: The Rhyme of the Ag-ed Mariness, by Lynn Lonidier

[Reviewed by Brooke Cooley]

The Rhyme of the Ag-ed Mariness compiles all the poems written by Lynn Lonidier (1937-1993) between her last book and her death.  Lonidier’s humor, tenacity, and wit weave throughout her words as she experiments with Spanglais – a unique style of writing that incorporates local-Mission Spanish into her original poems that profess a woman-centered quest through the eyes of this streetwise woman visionary.

Lonidier was an unambiguous lesbian and feminist, consistently dedicated to the underprivileged, especially the children of San Francisco’s Mission district during the 1960s.  Her compassion, energy, and tenderness shines through her often angry and painfully real literary images as she explores her truths through the pages of this compilation.

The vision and creation that Lonidier depicts through the pages of this collection of bilingual poems tells a story through the eyes of an activist, teacher, artist, and mentor.  The expression of her experiences through her poetry offered me plenty of opportunities to crave and search for the wisdom and understanding that she also wanted to know and  was able to identify with many of the feelings that she described.  I was especially interested by the way feelings of San Francisco and all the flavor it has to offer were felt throughout the pages and that familiarity bled through, page after page.

Inspiring, heartfelt, and passionate, The Rhyme of the Ag-ed Mariness brought insight into not only the life of a woman who wrote her own script, but encouraged me to continue asking what I wanted to see on the pages of my own life.  She clearly exemplified courage and strength in both her written works as well as her life, taking on challenges that enriched both her life as well as generations to come.

Brooke Cooley may be reached at soupsforthesoul@gmail.com.