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Reviews

5 Star review!Take Me Like a Photograph -
First edition, 1977. Second edition, 1980

Reviewer:Allen Brafman, an Amazon.com customer from Brooklyn, New York order book
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"Take Me Like a Photograph," originally published more than 25 years ago by a young poet, Chocolate Waters, then less than 30 years of age, is a remarkable work, and I love it. It is a book of poetry and personality.

Back then, in 1977, "Take Me Like a Photograph" was an exploration of a young poet's developing womanhood, of her blossoming lesbian discovery of self. Back then, it was also a history-making achievement, probably worth reading for that alone. But this is also a collection of poems. And these twenty-five year old poems are no less compelling today than they were when they were brand new, twenty-five years ago.

The title poem is an excellent example of the combination of poetry and personality that makes this work so appealing:

You have loved me for myself,
not a picture of me
someone else has taken

In these lines is a sophisticated awareness, a full working out of the sensibility of poet and personality, of art and the individual made one. The movement from 'for myself' to 'not a picture off me' is thrust gently forward into a satisfying and surprising place, as the next line continues, 'someone else has taken.' Just read it over:

You have loved me for myself,
not a picture of me
someone else has taken

And, of course, the line break, 'me / someone' sounds the delicate ear of a finely tuned poetic instrument and propels the senses into that refined place where poetry and personality are one.

I should have mentioned at the beginning that I had been told that "Take Me Like a Photograph" is a classic work of the Women's Movement. This description made me nervous. I was expecting propaganda and self-righteousness. I found, instead, art and humanity. I found a young woman, a young poet, a beautiful young heart laboring to uncover the art in her life and the life in her art. And Chocolate Waters, amazing soul that she is, is not reluctant to tell us what she finds:

I sprang / half-grown / from the / touch /
of your / first woman's /hands

and this:

I send my love beneath the ground /
beneath the longing earth /
my longing for this loving not to end

and this:

you touch me / and I / fall down.

and this:

Sweet Chocolate you are / mine and I am everything you want /
and would not ask from anyone

"Take Me Like a Photograph" is surrender and triumph. It is the vulnerability of youth. And the indestructibility of youth.

I urge you to take this book with you a few weeks wherever you go; let it take you places you have never been, lovely and heroic.

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5 Start Review!To the man reporter from the Denver Post - First edition 1975; Second edition 1980 A Biting Collection.   

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This book is as topical today as it was when it was first published in 1975. Bravo Ms. Waters! A must read for women old and young, those who lived through the second wave of feminism, and the young women today who need to know what that struggle was all about. Chocolate Waters has the ability to write in a way that her works will never be "out of style". 

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5 Start Review!!!Charting New Waters - First edition 1980
A River Rages Through It

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Charting New Waters is a funny and gutsy collection of poetry, cartoons, autobiographical essay and political satire. Not always pretty, Chocolate Waters' work is hard-hitting and often side-splitting in it's raw emotion, humor and truthfulness. She is free with her hurt, her lust, her rage, her laughter. For all of you who lived through the birth of radical lesbianism, she guides a nostalgic ride that time only enhances. For younger readers, Waters offers a glimpse of the reality of life for political lesbians in the seventies.

If you're looking for Moon, Spoon and June poetry, try another author. Waters is shockingly real in her open sexuality and alternative cultural lifestyle. If you're looking for wild and wonderful experience through the eyes of someone with the been-there Blues, try tasting Chocolate.

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