Rose Solari reads "Benedict" from her Debut Novel
A Secret Woman is not only a pleasure to read, it is sneaky serious in a way I particularly like. Rose Solari explores the eternal literary theme of self — who we are, who are the ones we love, and how we invent and reinvent these people, trying always to paint ourselves into the vast canvas of life and history. Robert Olen Butler
Many schools of poetry stress economy. The Shakespearean sonnet is limited to twelve lines, ten syllables each; the sestina uses requisite repetition to enforce its themes; imagism is a principle of subtraction which brings immediacy and originality to an image. This is something a poet who loves poetry learns very early, that the masters value precision over Joycean abundance. A poet also learns, reading Dickinson, Browning, Yeats, and Hardy, that it is almost always better to feel through her subjects, even if a subject be herself, than to commiserate with them. I don't see a reason then to make a hard and fast distinction between Rose Solari's beautiful Novel, A Secret Woman, and an epic sort of contemporary poem which lovingly explores the uses of economy and old-but-exciting ways of feeling through casts of subjects. For, it matches the spirit and lyricism of classical English poetry while telling a story best suited to novel form. So, while listening to "Benedict," notice how Rose reads, especially the beginning and the end, how she separates small segments from longer lines with dramatic pauses which are almost like line breaks. Notice the images which whir by in scenes within scenes, little moments Benedict holds to as he works his way through greater calamity. Notice how Benedict is discovered by the author and reader simultaneously through these images. Notice how the lines blur when reading this wonderful work by Rose Solari: poetry or prose, epic or novel, she gives us no reason to stratify.