Ciento: One Hundred 100-Word Love Poems
Lorna Dee Cervantes. San Antonio: Wings Press, 2011. 115pp. $16.00. ISBN 13: 978-0-916727-84-0
Monday, March 5, 2012
by: Reviewed by Judith Falzon

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Reviewed by Judith Falzon, St. Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, IN
Lorna Dee Cervantes' poetry is dazzling. Her collection of 100 poems of 100 words rides the force of romantic love, catapulting the reader into deft word play and vibrant emotionality. The title itself is a play on words--ciento (100) and siento (I feel).
The collection celebrates the poet’s beloved: his nearness, his distance, the marrow of his existence. Cervantes’ passion demands relational parity. She is by turns lustful, playful, and forthright ("I needed a change/Rats had got my past.") Her verse flows and tumbles in response to the emotions conveyed within each 100 word poem.
The cover photo (entwined skeletons from ancient Italy) complements the lean power of each poem and reminds us that love and lust are timeless experiences.
Cervantes has won many awards, including an American Book Award, the
Pushcart Prize, and the International Latino Book Award.
The paperback edition is well-made, with thick pages and a glossy cover. Also available in ebook editions.

Highly recommended for bookstores and libraries with literary, Chicano, or women's studies collections.

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