Cover image for Ungodliness -- poems by Leslie Adrienne MillerCarnegie Mellon University Press, 1994
ISBN: 0887481736

Ungodliness, Leslie Adrienne Miller’s second collection of poems, is a nearly perfect collection. Not only do the individual poems achieve a balance of form and content, but they work together superbly as a book. Like Wordsworth with his radical departures, Miller . . . reinvigorates iambic meter by infusing it with a nervous vitality and then bending it to serve subject matter far removed from the genteel traditions of blank verse. Her territory is the ‘ungodliness’ of everyday life– the shadow side of human consciousness: the jealousies, resentments, hurts, angers, and wild, often self destructive urges that we normally try to keep hidden. A postmodern romantic, she is fascinated by chaos. But Miller’s impulse isn’t confessional, still less ‘therapeutic.’ Her poetry achieves what is arguably the rarest thing in literature– it doesn’t merely portray individual consciousness, it embodies it in all its headlong, perverse, and often hilarious guises, in language that is supple, energetic, and at times movingly lyrical. Minnesota Monthly

In Leslie Adrienne Miller’s fine second book, Ungodliness, we hear the voice of a woman unflinchingly coming to terms with her own experience, picking up the shards of spirit, the religious curious of our fallen age, and transforming them into art at once sensuous, personal, skeptical, and true.Edward Hirsch

Leslie Adrienne Miller knows extraordinary secrets and tells them with searing clarity– about how love is a necessity, a comfort, an itch and an ache, the nexus where hope and fear and the image of the self and the world come together, or (more often) fail to. These lyrical and witty poems are cunningly made, full of insight and self-knowledge, and since that self is open to unflinching honesty and a kind of vulnerable toughness, it’s impossible to read them without confronting ourselves.Rosellen Brown