1 Book Reviews: Let The Horses Die
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Book Reviews: Let The Horses Die

"Diana Tuorto wrote a compelling and sensitive first work of highly emotional poetry. Let the Horses Die, with its carefully wrought language, expresses her feelings and experiences about love and life, with the pain and elation that accompany all aspects of those abstract notions. It is apparent throughout her book that she undergoes a catharsis of some kind, with regard to her deep pain on the loss of at least one relationship and then, in nearly the same breath, those dizzying heights at the honeymoon start of another relationship. It almost seems too heady a work for someone so young.

Although the years in which these pieces were conceived dances around in time, one can see the growth of spirit emerge. Interspersed between her pieces about the longing and loss, which Ms. Tuorto says are her theme for the book, she writes what seem like little vignettes which serve both as reality check and metaphor for her purpose. It works well for her, and also, to an advantage for us, her readers.

A perfect example would be A Quick Stop at the Convenience Store, which highlights the mundaneness of life with the chance intersection of two lives with nothing and everything in common, for only a few brief moments. In Love, By the End of the Week gives an arbitrary timeframe to an ideal that is actually something quite timeless. The Guitarist, one of the earliest works written for this book, ends with the line, "Playing their music outside, along Route 17." For anyone who lives - or ever lived - in New Jersey, this rings only too true by epitomizing that vision of construction, urban sprawl, bumper-to-bumper traffic and the itinerant musician trying for something mellifluous to rise above the cacophony, as Ms. Tuorto successfully tries to do at every turn in this slim, yet powerful volume.

I think my two favorite poems are My Mother During My High School Years and San Francisco, One Way, for different reasons. The first poem is a loving tribute to a mother who takes the time to show how she cares for her daughter. As a mother of young children myself, with a very wonderful relationship with my own mother, this hits home with me for obvious reasons. Happily, Ms. Tuorto did not wait until it was too late to get her point across, where it needed to be heard. As to the latter of these two pieces, I think it is perhaps the most elegantly crafted allegory in the book, citing in a few short lines, what the distance is between wanting and having. All in all, Let the Horses Die is profound and intense, but with a feeling that, despite the angst of the title or perhaps any one individual poem, it makes the reader feel in the end there is a kind of peace or at least, an acceptable resolution."

-Randi Clarken, Hillsborough, New Jersey

"From someone who has been through a number of break-ups and losses, this collection of poetry truly expresses what many people feel when they lose, and find, love. Having read this poetry in college, it is great to see these poems finally published where wide ranges of people can see, read, and feel the emotions that drive many of us while in our formative years, and that which often last a lifetime."

-Leigh Billings, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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